PBSC students learn valuable skills through Kimmel Leadership Academy
A group of 28 Palm Beach State College students honed their leadership skills during the 2023 Kimmel Leadership Academy held Aug. 14 to 18 at the Boca Raton campus.
The program, launched last year with a $42,000 gift from the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Family Foundation, teaches students at the Boca campus about soft skills, team building, personal branding, understanding their values, etiquette and other topics.
Through their Foundation, the Kimmel’s gave an additional $42,000 for this year’s program that had 70 applicants. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship and was recognized at a campus awards banquet Aug. 18.
The program was developed and written by Jyrece McClendon, who was associate dean at the time of the Kimmel donation. She wrote up the proposal and selected the theoretical framework.
Professor Dr. Kalisha Waldon helped write the day-to-day curriculum that was based on the Social Change Model of Leadership. It emphasizes seven key values that individuals, groups and communities should strive for to create change through leadership.
Waldon worked alongside Luli Marx, associate dean of academic affairs, who serves as the director of the Kimmel Leadership Academy, and faculty facilitators Helena Zacharis, Sherry Hall and Joshua Filina.
One student in the program, Jane Kolaj, who is pursuing an Associate in Arts degree, said she really enjoyed the openness and kindness of the faculty and the lesson she learned on being unique.
“I learned that my leadership style doesn’t have to look like anybody else,” said Kolaj, who graduated from Boca Raton Community High School. “I can forge my own path and make my own way that works for me and not try and copy the people I admire.”