Hello and welcome to the final blog of Session 1. I know I speak for James and Katie when I say we are truly thankful for each and every participant for being here with us over the past 5 weeks. I personally have learned so much from all of the participants and couldn’t be more grateful. 

Week 5, before graduation was led by Sam Davidson, who has been helping with SLP since 2016. Sam spent all day with us talking about how we can take what we have learned through SLP and apply it to our lives. He went through how to use our leadership skills at home, in the workplace, and in the community. Sam led participants through multiple different activities but my personal favorite was when the groups had to come up with something to bring to Lakeland to make it better. There were a lot of fun, really cool ideas that I would love to see implemented into Lakeland. Another thing about Sam’s talk that really stuck out to me was how he said “Focus less on the amount of people in your community. Focus more on the amount of community in your people.” I think this is something so important to bring into the workplace because it allows your department to really thrive.


After Sam’s time with us we began rehearsing for graduation. Not long after that, supervisors started to arrive. I also wanted to take this time to thank supervisors for sending your participants through the program. Without you guys none of this would be possible so thanks again!

James emceed us through graduation and kicked it off with a little bit of the history of SLP. After this we asked three participants, Megan Gooden, Ishmael Molina Rosado, and Katrina Hirdes to give a testimonial of their time at SLP. Each of them did a great job telling us about how they were before and after the program and how it helped each of them grow. 

Once they were done, James said a few more things and then our participants began to walk and receive their certificates.



That wraps up our 2024 Session 1 of SLP. Again, thank you to participants and supervisors for making this a very memorable session for the LEDC and the Summer Leadership Program. 

Thank you for reading! 

  • Carter Sandman (SLP Intern)