Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Inside the Covey Leadership Center’s Impactful Educational Program

Sponsored: A transformative experience that empowers students, both elementary and college, to become leaders in their own lives.

(USU, sponsored) Leadership Workshop with Sports Team Captains at Green Canyon High School.

In a world where the skills required for success are rapidly evolving, one educational program stands out for its commitment to cultivating leadership and personal growth in young students. The Elementary School Leadership Conference is not just another event but a transformative experience that empowers students, both elementary and college, to become leaders in their own lives.

Bret Crane, Executive Director of the Covey Leadership Center explains, ‘Our program is deeply rooted in the belief that the best way to change the world is through education. We aim to equip the next generation with principles that will not only enhance their lives but also inspire them to become leaders who make meaningful contributions.’”

Since its inception in 2019, the conference has been a beacon of innovation and inspiration for students across Utah. With an average attendance of 120 students from schools, the conference offers a unique opportunity for young minds to explore leadership concepts through engaging workshops and activities.

Crane emphasizes, ‘We want students to understand that leadership is a choice, and we provide them with the tools and experiences to make that choice confidently.’”

Central to the conference’s success is its student-led approach. With 30 USU student volunteers driving the content and delivery of workshops, participants not only learn leadership principles but also develop essential presentation and communication skills.

‘When students take ownership of their learning and teaching, it deepens their understanding and mastery of the material,” Crane said.

Landon McAllister, a finance student and Covey Fellow attests to the significance of this experience. “It’s a fun and impactful way to practice leadership,” McAllister reflects. “Being with the kids is nostalgic of those memories of elementary and middle school and we get to remember the ways we were impacted as kids.”

(USU, sponsored) Stephen MR Covey speaking to USU students on campus.

The conference follows the LEAD model—Learning, Empathy, Authenticity, and Drive—crafted by the Covey Leadership Center. Through workshops and activities, students learn to apply these principles in real-life scenarios, from navigating challenges to fostering teamwork.

“Our goal is to provide students with experiential learning opportunities that go beyond traditional classroom settings,” said Crane. “By engaging them in hands-on activities and discussions, we help them internalize leadership principles.’”

Beyond academic learning, the conference fosters connections and networks among USU students, promoting a culture of collaboration and support. Participants not only leave with new skills but also with a sense of belonging to a community of like-minded individuals.

‘Seeing students come together, support each other, and embrace the opportunity to contribute is incredibly rewarding. It’s about more than just academic success; it’s about personal growth and fulfillment,” Crane explains.

(USU, sponsored) Student volunteers lead a discussion during Elementary Leadership Conference.

The impact of this conference extends beyond the event itself. McAllister explains, “Above all, I think service leadership is the most fun, most impactful form of leadership. Being able to serve leaves a lasting impression on me.”

The success of the conference is evident not only in the enthusiasm of its participants but also in the feedback from schools and parents. “They love that it’s hands-on, student-led, and reinforces principles of leadership,” Crane remarks.

As the Huntsman School of Business continues to teach the next generation of leaders how to live lives of meaning and contribution, initiatives like this annual leadership conference serve as a testament to the power of personalized learning. Through experiential education and a focus on empowerment, students are equipped with the skills and mindset needed to make a meaningful impact in their communities and beyond.

In the words of McAllister, “There’s a lot of opportunities in high school and college to get wrapped into your own world. Your decisions only impact you, but when you get the opportunity to serve, it changes your mindset to, “How can I influence and impact others?”

With each conference, the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University reaffirms its commitment to fostering leadership and empowering students to lead with purpose.

To learn more about the conference and other initiatives happening at the Huntsman School of Business visit Huntsman.usu.edu