Strake Jesuit students attend Teen Leadership Summit

By John Strock ’21

The biannual West Houston Teen Leader Summit (WHTLS) teaches high school sophomores and juniors from the Houston area how to become leaders by providing them with insights from various community leaders. The summit is hosted by state representative Jim Murphy, a graduate of Strake Jesuit, alongside political, social, and business leaders from around Houston. It was my great honor to be invited to this event and to learn more about how these men and women achieved their success.

This year’s summit took place February 22.

Alongside me were other Jesuit students, including over a dozen juniors and a handful of sophomores. Other schools sending students included St. Agnes, Memorial, Westside, Duchesne, Houston Christian, and many more from metropolitan Houston, a great opportunity to meet new people and even forge new friendships.

The day began with students’ breaking into small groups, led by local leaders. In my group, a well respected attorney, discussed the value of networking and not being afraid to meet new people.

From there, we headed into a large conference room and listened to panels of leaders ranging from Mrs. Mellisa Wilson, FOX 26 news anchor; to Mr. Chase Untermeyer, an advisor to George H.W. Bush’s presidency and an ambassador to Qatar.

Jesuit attendee Anthony Kim ’21 stated, “I really enjoyed the speech by Houston City Council Member Jerry Davis, because he reflected many of the achievements I hope to reach when I grow up.”

Despite the wide variety of speakers, all had a similar message; not to be afraid to chase your dreams and to believe that anything is possible with a tenacious work ethic.

Afterwards, we went to two of four possible workshops that included “Business Etiquette,” “Politics in the 21st century,” “Careers in the New Economy,” and “How to Pay for College.”

Jonny Stein ’21, another Jesuit student, said, “I really enjoyed ‘Business Etiquette,’ because it showed me how to act in the real world. It also taught me the importance of social connections.”

Perhaps the most interesting workshop was “Careers in the New Economy” because it taught how multifaceted the Houston economy is. In addition, it provided a list of the top 100 jobs that many business leaders believe will be in high demand and financially rewarding within the next twenty years.

The Summit offered vital the knowledge regarding college and career choices. It taught important virtues such as respect and determination. It gave key tips for success, such as not being afraid to meet people. But most importantly, it taught that hard work makes a man or woman, that your future will be only as good as the effort you put into it.