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CCJHS student selected for elite leadership academy

Special to Leader-Press


Some students get out of school for the summer not knowing exactly how they will spend their time. That is not the case for Ariel Draper. She heads back for the third consecutive year to the Lone Star Leadership Academy for her final learning opportunity.

Draper, who will be in the 8th grade at Copperas Cove Junior High in the fall, was selected for the elite leadership camp in both the 6th and 7th grades but continues to be excited to attend again this year.

     "I've attended the camp two times before,” Draper said. “I expect to learn more about the Galveston/Houston area and more effective and efficient ways to be a leader."

Draper was selected based on her outstanding academic success, demonstrated leadership ability, involvement in school and community activities and successful completion of a previous Lone Star Leadership Academy Camp.

Upon completion of the Houston/Galveston program, Draper will receive the Lone Star Leadership Academy Trailblazer designation recognizing her participation in all three camps:  Dallas, Austin, and Houston.  This select group of students is honored for choosing to develop their leadership skills and learn about the great state of Texas while experiencing notable sites in three of Texas’ major metropolitan areas.

     "I give up part of my summer for this camp because it's very fun and it gets me out to go and see and learn new things. It's worth going over and over again because it's a great opportunity to make new friends and you learn something new each time," Draper said. “I plan on joining the Lone Star Leadership Academy's Alumni Council so that I can become a junior facilitator next year."

Now in junior high, Draper speaks to elementary school groups about her Lone Star Leadership Academy experiences and encourages the younger students to begin attending the educational camps.

     "I served on a leadership panel the last two years. It was put together by a CCISD teacher who had participated in the camp program as one of her facilitators,” Draper said. “It was to answer questions parents and students may have about the camp. If they have the panel, I will  do it again.  However, this time I will try to give more input to put the parents' and kids' minds at ease."

Although the criteria to get accepted into the camp is rigorous, Draper gives good advice and encouragement to any student who wants to attend and develop his/her leadership skills.

     "You have to work hard and maintain good grades if you'd like to be selected,” Draper said. “You should try your best and push yourself to the limits."

Texas educators facilitate the camp including leadership groups where Cove ISD students will examine qualities of effective leaders, practice leadership skills and discuss what they learn at sites they visit. Academy participants must be in fourth to eighth grades and maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher. 


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