The annual Mid-America Union Conference Academy Leadership Conference was held in September 2022 at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. The hosting of the conference is rotated every year between the MAUC Office of Education, the MAUC Church Ministries Department, and Union College. This year it was hosted by Union College. The purpose of the three day event was to give students an opportunity to explore what leadership is about and to help them become effective leaders when they return to their respective schools.
Each academy is allotted a certain number of representatives, which usually includes elected student leaders such as class president, vice president and student association officers. This year 55 students participated from Campion Academy, College View Academy, Dakota Adventist Academy, Midland-Adventist Academy, Mile High Adventist Academy and Sunnydale Adventist Academy.
The keynote speaker was Pastor J-Fiah Reeves, a former Union College graduate and pastor who is currently completing his M.Div degree at Andrews University. Before attending Andrews he was an associate pastor of two churches in Texas. His presentation was focused on the theme “Find Your Fire.” His authentic spirit, depth of thought, and conversational rapport with the students provided an engaging experience.
The students were included in Union College’s annual city-wide community service day, Project Impact. Project Impact is a 40-plus year tradition where students and staff go out into the Lincoln community to help with projects pre-arranged by various local organizations.
Students also got to experience what it is like to scale a wall with representatives from the International Relief and Rescue program at Union.
A highlight for some of the students was participating in an emergency response simulation. The scenario placed them in a town that was hit by a major flood with electrical outages. Students had to work together with other students from other schools to secure resources and save their city.
The Mid-America Union Conference Office of Education hopes that through the training it will help students develop their own leadership style and take away with them a spirit of unity and cooperation with others, as well as learn how to facilitate peer training on their campuses.
One Campion Academy student said,
We are learning to develop leadership skills and how we can apply them to our own individual strengths. To better work together so we can make things better for everyone.
A student from Mile High Academy shared,
We are learning what our own personal strengths are, and how we can incorporate these strengths into our own leadership experiences.
The event concluded with an awards ceremony. Each student from the following academies received the following scholarship amounts to Union College for first, second and third place.
· $1,000 Mile High Academy
· $500 Sunnydale Academy
· $250 Campion Academy
The 2023 Academy Leadership Conference will be an outdoor spiritual retreat hosted by the MAUC Church Ministries/Youth Department. The conference will focus on activities designed to build strong spirituality and promote healthy relationships in leadership and team building.