Students from 11 National Christian School Association (NCSA) schools attended the 2019 Presidential Leadership Institute in July hosted on the York College campus in Nebraska. With 55 student participants and 19 sponsors representing schools in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee, this is the largest gathering of NCSA students for the year, according to NCSA President Kelly Moore. 

The Presidential Leadership Institute, now in its sixth year, is a joint effort of York College, Strata Leadership, and the NCSA. Each year, schools send student leadership teams to experience a week of inspiration provided by CEOs, authors, York College faculty, public servants, and other influential figures. This year’s speakers included Mary Eisenhower, former CEO of People to People International; Thomas Hill of the Kimray Corporation; Mark Stansberry, author and songwriter; Tami Heim, former CEO of the Christian Leadership Alliance; and Dr. Nathan Mellor, author and leadership expert.
PicturePLI participants enjoy a devo on the iconic steps of McGehee Hall
Students enjoyed a trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, to meet with state representatives and Governor Pete Ricketts and to have lunch at the governor’s mansion. They also traveled to Abilene, Kansas, to tour the Eisenhower Museum and Library, hosted by Eisenhower’s granddaughter, Mary Eisenhower.

The experience is meant to empower students to make lasting changes on their campuses in the upcoming school year. Each team comes with a situation they wish to remedy or improve at their school, then work throughout the week on solutions and strategies. The climax of the week is a TED Talk style presentation from each student team, laying out the plan they will implement at their school. 

This year’s participants addressed social media, school unity, community outreach and many other topics in their presentations. 

Two students were recognized for their leadership with the Howard Todd Scholarship. Named in honor of the longtime minister  and educator who epitomizes servant leadership, the award comes with a full tuition, four-year scholarship to York College. This year’s recipients are Jalen McDade from Alabama Christian School and Abbegayle James from Oklahoma Christian Academy. 

The 2017 recipient of Howard Todd Scholarship was Sebastian Rolan of Mount Dora Christian Academy in Mount Dora, Florida. Rolan recently completed his freshman year at York College, where he serves on student government and the baseball team. The 2018 recipient is Rebekah Powell from Oklahoma Christian Academy who will be a senior at OCA this year. 

PLI 2020 will be held July 12-18. 

Final Presentation Videos