In early December, junior Kyla Lee had the opportunity to take part in an event at the University of Indianapolis. The event is known as the Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders. It honors top juniors in the state of Indiana and brings them together for a day of discussion of public issues and world events.
The University of Indianapolis website describes the purpose of the event as a way to expose some of the best and brightest young minds in Indiana, our future leaders, to global issues and help them gain an appreciation for the complexities of these issues.
Each participant of the event was asked to attend two afternoon sessions that focus on current events. The sessions feature two experts who present opposing views on a current event, which is followed by a formal discussion on the topic.
“I loved one of the classes I took while I was there. It was a class about assault. I got to listen to one of the professors there, which had just published a book. The class gave great information and ways to avoid or help someone involved in assault or harassment,” said Lee.
The principals from each high school in Indiana have the opportunity to select three outstanding juniors to participate in the event. Principal Chad Johnson was not familiar with the event, but Lee brought it to his attention and was able to attend.
“Three students are supposed to be selected by their principals from each high school; however, I heard about it from a teacher and asked about it. Mr. Johnson had not heard of it before, but contacted them and somehow got me in,” said Lee.
By attending the event, Lee is now eligible to apply for a scholarship they offer as well as an award. Any student who chooses to attend the Symposium their junior year of high school will automatically be considered for the $15,500 scholarship. The selection committee selects up to ten students from the pool of applicants to receive the scholarship, but the recipient must be attending the University of Indianapolis. The award has a very similar selection process, but it awards the recipients with a $1,000 monetary award.
The Lugar Symposium is an event available only to juniors in Indiana; therefore, Lee would not be able to attend again. However, she would recommend the Lugar Symposium to any upcoming junior because it is a great experience.
“The event is very worthwhile, mostly if you are wanting to go into a profession that involves politics, and it also gives the experience of being in a college class,” said Lee.
Story by Madison Street