With a generous $87,000 gift, the Walmart Foundation launched the Walmart Leadership Scholars Program this month. Designed to develop high-quality leadership skills for Spelman’s first-year and first-generation students, the program was available to 236 of the 550 first-year, first-generation college students.
“This distinctive program focuses on the successful matriculation of selected first-year students through leadership training and peer mentoring opportunities,” stated Jane Smith, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, where the program is housed. “But most importantly, this program will provide participants with essential professional and personal skill sets.”
The program is based on the philosophy that quality leadership development comes from a combination of three core elements: (1) sound leadership theories operating as guiding principles; (2) an opportunity for meaningful leadership experiences and practices; and (3) quality feedback and assessment.
During the 2009-2010 academic year, Walmart Leadership Scholars will attend two leadership training and speaker programs; participate in three community service projects; complete one leadership assessment; and actively engage with a peer-mentor at least four to six hours per month. Mentors will monitor the progress of the scholars in managing their academics, participating in campus organizations, and adjusting to college life.
Upon successful completion of the program, peer-mentoring training will be provided for each Walmart Leadership Scholar, which will prepare them to serve as a peer-mentor for the next group of scholars.
“Walmart’s commitment to education is more important than ever,” said Glen Wilkins, senior manager of Public Affairs and Government Relations. “In these tough economic times, every dollar counts when it comes to assuring that parents can afford to send their children to college. By providing deserving students with financial support from the Walmart Foundation, we are continuing to do our part to help assure that students can access the education they need for a better life.” – Jo Moore Stewart
The remaining schedule for the semester includes:
- Feb. 16: Leadership session at Manley Center Atrium, guest speaker Kemba Smith Pradia, (motivational speaker). Kemba will address topics such as her personal testimony, healthy relationships and healthy choices, understanding your purpose.
- March 27: Community Service project ( TBD)
- April 13: Leadership session at LLCII, guest speaker Rosalind Brewer, Division President-Southeast Operations, Wal-Mart Stores