b'LEADERSHIPprogram for students nominatedAscend Together Dixon says he then asked some of the VECA Unitedwatching the older girls did not have the success of the by teachers.After more than ten years ofstudents to tell their personal stories. We walkedteam in mindit was full of pride and selfishness. research and development ofthrough the idea of them writing about the challenges We talk about what it meansthought-provoking curriculum,they faced and lessons learned as they develop aHadley, now a student at Valdosta State University, to be a leader, and to beEnay Coaching produced Ascendservant-leader mindset. says, I never thought of myself as a leader. Im shy, but introspective, and examineTogether, a leadership guidebookas I got more involved in volunteer activities, I found ourselves first before going outfor middle and high schoolAbreauna Hadley, who graduated from VECA in 2020,that you can lead through service.to be an example to others,students. The book, released inshared how she developed a deeper understanding ofWhile Ascend Together is recommended for Dixon says. We have challenging2020, seeks to inspire teenagers toteamwork through the Ascend curriculum.teenagers, the principles are applicable for the conversations about tough issuestake on the challenges of the 21stI thought about the life lessons I could share andcurrent workforce and speak directly to developing and vulnerable moments thatcentury with integrity, courage,immediately thought about soccer, which was a bigemployability skills often referred to as soft skills like make them stronger while buildingand compassion.part of my high school life, Hadley says. As a youngereffective communication, teamwork, reliability, initiative, leadership skills.Based on the theme of amember of the soccer team, I watched as older girlsproblem-solving, and critical thinking. As part of Enay Coachingsmountain climbing expedition,hogged the ball, trying to gain attention and applauseProceeds from the sale of Ascend Together supports proprietary Legacy-mindedfor themselves. Enay Coachings work with youth in Georgias foster She writes in the book, I decided that the ball hogcare system. Individuals and businesses may sponsor strategy looked pretty good; I wanted to learn to keepbook sets for clubs and foster group homes.www.the ball and dazzle the crowd with my skills, score theenaycoaching.com/the-bookwinning goal, and be the hero!I never thought of myself as a leader.I didnt think of it then, but the plan that I learned bywww.enaycoaching.com/the-bookIm shy, but as I got more involved in Abreauna Hadley, VECA graduate volunteer activities, I found that you can We were one of several companieslead through service.selected to help write CTAE standards for Georgias middle- ABREAUNA HADLEYschools, Dixon says. We promoted the importance of mentorship, networking, and extracurricular activity as ways to experience the business world in the classroom.Servant-leadership curriculum,the book covers six modules and VECA United students learnrelated activities that reinforce In 2015, the Enay team startedabout the importance of being working with middle and high schoola team player and developingeach principle. Along the way, students at Valdosta Early Collegecommunication, critical thinking,participants earn badges and, Academy (VECA), a school withinand problem-solving skills. upon completion, a certificate. the Valdosta City School System thatSchools and/or school sponsors works in partnership with ValdostaThe series of lessons andhave purchased book sets to use State University.challenges explore what it meanswith students in different settings, to be a servant-leader, Dixon says.from school leadership clubs, to Dr. Brian Gerber, Dr. Mae McKinney,At the end, there is a capstone and Dr. Johnnie Marshall wereactivity, where we use a mobilein-school suspension groups, to gracious to invite us to work withrock-climbing wall to reinforce thefoster care group homes, and it students and share our leadershipleadership skills.has been a very effective resource curriculum, Dixon says, adding thatfor them says Dixon.this group eventually became VECAThe book started as a way for United, a multi-week leadershipEnay Coaching to share its servant-leadership curriculum. 32 SG MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021 BUSINESS + CULTURE 33'