Upper School Students Hone Their Personal Leadership Styles in Leadership Academy

Upper School Students Hone Their Personal Leadership Styles in Leadership Academy

Annie ‘26, one of 98 Upper School students in the Sacred Heart Leadership Academy, appreciates how the program guided her and her classmates to discover and develop their unique leadership skills. She enthusiastically shared, “I discovered so much about my personal leadership style through the different workshops, activities, and personal mentor meetings this year in the Leadership Academy. I learned that being a good leader does not always mean being the most vocal person on your team or in the classroom. It is about finding the leadership style that fits you best, which comes in all different forms. In the workshops, I learned skills in conflict resolution, communication, public speaking, and other strategies that help me everyday to become the best leader I can be.” 

“What is unique about this program,” explains Jenn Bensen, Director of Student Leadership, Health and Wellness, “is its multifaceted approach. Students build essential skills through immersion with workshops, mentor meetings, group activities, and expert speakers. As one of the key goals of the Leadership Academy, each young woman recognizes and develops her own style of leadership.”  

For Laura ‘23, the Leadership Academy provided a pathway to understanding the dynamics between different individuals. “As captain of the swim team, I aspired to create an environment where all student-athletes felt comfortable, while still holding each other to a high standard,” said Laura. She adds, “Partnering with my fellow captain, I needed to learn the ways in which we work best together, as our strengths differed. The Leadership Academy allowed us to assess our skills to create strategies to best lead, so we were able to support each other and build strong team camaraderie. The Leadership Academy allowed me to become more comfortable being in a leadership position, particularly during tough situations, by helping me identify areas I needed to improve and strengthening the skills I already had. I had opportunities to understand a good leader’s mindset and to embrace my own leadership style to create the best possible environment for all individuals.” 

“It was incredible to see students blossom over the year under the dedicated guidance of faculty mentors who led grade-level cohorts in monthly workshops, curriculum, and through one-on-one partnerships. The individual mentor meetings, where students identified areas in which they would like to grow and stretch themselves, were one of the most impactful parts of the program,“ reflects Ms. Bensen. She adds, “Students actively engaged in workshops, eager to develop their skills in teamwork, communication, resiliency, public speaking, conflict resolution, and resourcefulness. Students also were inspired by guest speakers to use their voices, live compassionately, and positively impact the world.” 

Looking ahead, the Leadership Academy’s culminating experiences in the spring will give each student an opportunity to put the skills she learned into real life practice: 

  • Freshmen: Deliver an elevator pitch
  • Sophomores: Propose a strategic plan to address a community need
  • Juniors: Develop and deliver a podcast focused on “Who is a leader?”
  • Seniors: Deliver a 3 minute reflection on “What’s my Sacred Heart Why?” or “How I choose to lead.”

Learn more about the Sacred Heart Greenwich Leadership, Health & Wellness program