A group of 30 students from the Leonard Leadership Scholars Program in the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business leave for New Orleans on Thursday, January 10, to assist in the city's ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
These student leaders are partnering with Habitat for Humanity to assist in the reconstruction of new homes for New Orleans residents who were significantly impacted by Katrina and unable to rebuild their homes without assistance. Institute for Leadership Advancement director Dale Gauthreaux, economics professor and leadership scholars program director Chris Cornwell, and leadership scholars program coordinator Tracie Sanchez will also be joining the students on this service project.
"Class of 2008 leadership scholars Brooke Burlingame and Kramer Johnson have family members in the region and were affected by Katrina," said Lauren Berardicurti. "Furthermore, I think it is our responsibility to help our fellow Americans recover from this terrible tragedy. Over two years have passed since Katrina made landfall, and there is still much work left to be done." In response, Berardicurti formed a nine-member student committee to plan, organize and arrange the project.
The theme of the service project in the Big Easy is "The Big Change." The student leaders will reconvene at the end of each workday for student-led discussions on this theme and reflections on the day's work.
"We have spent a lot of time discussing our values and our purpose as leaders," Berardicurti said. "This trip will be one way that we can live some of the values we all share, such as civic and personal responsibility and care for others."
"After almost two years of studying leadership and developing our skills, we are excited about moving our work into areas of the country outside of our campus," said Chris Crittenden, president of the Scholars Class of 2008. "Hurricane Katrina demolished more than just homes. It destroyed the will of some of the most disadvantaged. We hope that through our work we can create a 'Big Change' not only in the possessions of the needy but in the hearts of the poor by providing hope where it was destroyed."
The Institute for Leadership Advancement was established in 2000 as a multidisciplinary academic unit of the Terry College charged with developing leaders who enhance the performance of their organizations and communities. Through assessment, instruction and opportunities for experiential learning, leadership behaviors are studied, practiced and developed. Offering programs designed for undergraduates, graduate students, executives and business organizations, ILA is one of the most comprehensive leadership development institutes operating within a university setting anywhere in the country.