Alumni Spotlights

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Anna Brothers, Dayton ISD

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“My sixth grade teacher nominated me for the Lone Star Leadership Academy. I took a leap outside of my comfort zone and went to the camp. Looking back, it was completely worth it. I remember being shy and scared to talk to anyone on the first day. The first night, at the hot dog dinner, I made new friends including one I’m still in contact with today. Being a camper was wonderful and helped bring me out of my shell. I was surrounded by great kids from all over Texas and saw many different places in major Texas cities I hadn’t experienced before. After my second camp I joined the Alumni Council. Through the Council I learn what it takes to be a good leader and each year I set up a service project. These experiences have opened not only my eyes, but also my friends’ and others’ in the community, to some of our town’s needs. I wouldn’t trade being a Youth Facilitator for the world. I enjoy creating relationships and working with the younger campers to help them become the best leaders they can be. Helping them has also helped me grow and mature into the leader I am today.”

Anna took part in the Lone Star Leadership Academy Austin and Houston camps and is a 5th Year Alumni Council Member and three-time Youth Facilitator. As a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council, Anna has created and led five service projects including, Books for Children Charity, Operation Baby Supplies, Project Bridge Haven, Build Their Spirits, and Say Thanks.

Brianna Thornton, Copperas Cove ISD

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"My experiences with the Lone Star Leadership Academy have been nothing short of amazing. I have attended the camps since 5th grade. As a camper, I learned so much about Texas and different career paths I didn't even know existed. I made many lifelong friends, one with whom I returned to all the camps and even came back with as a Youth Facilitator. Coming back to the camps as a Youth Facilitator is such an enriching experience. Helping lead lessons and nightly activities for the kids becomes such a routine. By the end of the week, it's bittersweet to leave. This camp brought me my love of teaching children and helped prepare me for the future. I have also been involved with the Alumni Council for five years and have enjoyed every second of it. On the Council I have done many service projects for my community, from collecting donations for our local animal shelter to picking up cans off the roads and donating them to the Boy Scouts. I would have never been so involved in my community if it wasn't for the Lone Star Leadership Academy and Alumni Council and I am so thankful for the experiences I’ve gained with them.”

Brianna took part in all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps and is a 5th Year Alumni Council member and a three-time Youth Facilitator. As a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council, Brianna has created and led five service projects including Pennies for the Philippines, A Second Chance, Wings for Women, Face Painting for a Cause, and A Christmas Miracle.

Sophia Deras, Carroll ISD

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“Participating as a camper, council member, and youth facilitator has given me advantages in my academic and social life. Opportunities for public speaking, group discussions, and meeting students from all corners of the state put me ahead of my classmates. I was also introduced to careers I had never considered (or thought of). I loved going to camps because it was a week full of students who were excited to learn, and learn hands-on, just like me. Much like the camps, Alumni Council has been a chance for me to interact with students from far and wide, as well as help those in need right here in my own community. My service projects have been extremely rewarding; I make phone calls, write emails, and run my own mini project. Taking on a responsibility like this can be daunting, but whether you help five people or five hundred, is beneficial to both you and your community. Youth facilitating is one of the best and most unique opportunities I have had the privilege to participate in and it is one I definitely would recommend; working with the kids and helping our great teachers is very rewarding.”

Sophia took part in the Lone Star Leadership Academy Austin/San Antonio and Houston/Galveston camps, and is a 4th Year Alumni Council member, and a three-time Youth Facilitator. As a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council, Sophia has created and led four service projects including Books for West ISD and Snack Packs for Northwest ISD (two years) which she grew into this year’s project, Backpacks for Northwest ISD.

Ceanna Cooksey, Denton ISD

“I have been going to Lone Star Leadership Academy camps since fifth grade. Because each camp is special and different I would recommend that a Lone Star Leader go through all three camps. A Leader learns so much about both Texas and themselves with these camps. The best experience, in my opinion, is returning to the camps as a Youth Facilitator. As a Youth Facilitator, you go through these camps in an entirely new light. It teaches responsibility and integrity and you make some amazing friends. I look back on all of my Lone Star Leadership camps with fond memories. All the new skills I gained helped prepare me for the future.”

Ceanna is a Lone Star Leadership Academy Trailblazer, 5th Year Alumni Council Member, and three-time Youth Facilitator. As a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council, Ceanna has created and led five service projects including Books for Buddies, Books for West ISD, Mobile Food Pantry, Toys for Kids, and this year’s project, Food for Friends.