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SBU Students Claudia Nichols and Nick Pruett participates in Missouri Governor’s Student Leadership Forum

group photo of students at the Missouri Governers Leadership ForumJefferson City, MO – Claudia Nichols and Nick Pruett were two of 80 collegiate students nominated to represent Southwest Baptist University during the annual Missouri Governor’s Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values held February 16-18, 2024, in Jefferson City, Missouri.

The Forum challenges students’ character development by encouraging them to reflect on their own decision-making skills, values, and belief systems. Students learn about how to reconcile relationships, stand for truth, and love others as they love themselves. The Forum’s guiding principle is teaching students to embrace altruism rather than egotism.

Governor Mike Parson welcomed students of the Forum with a meet and greet in his office, followed by an inspirational message from Rebecca Welsh, Founder of Halo, a mission that provides housing, healing, and education to at-risk and homeless children. Students ended their time at the Capitol hearing from Missouri State Senator Travis Fitzwater.

Students also heard from several speakers who lead by example. A question and answer panel including Youssef Abdou, Natalia Chaing Breña, David Johnson, Bailey Stephen, and Sadie Williams discussed the importance of community and relationships. Judge Pat Joyce shared a message on redemption after the students’ tour of the Jefferson City Correctional Center. Kyrell and Michaela Newell, directors of St. Nicholas Academy, shared a message on servant leadership. Justin Campbell, Regional Director of YoungLife concluded the Forum, challenging students to consider their purpose in what they are aiming at.

The event started in 1988 under the leadership of former Missouri Governor and 79th U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

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