Student Leadership Johns Creek (SLJC) kicked off their 2020-21 program in new fashion on Friday, August 14 and Saturday, August 15. When Fulton County Schools chose to open schools virtually, SLJC immediately pivoted to a virtual platform. The kick-off retreat is normally hosted by a local escape game, but in this virtual world we decided to travel to Eastern Europe to remotely participate in team building in two virtual escape rooms. This year our 103 students representing the Johns Creek High Schools; Centennial, Chattahoochee, Johns Creek and Northview didn’t miss a beat and escaped the games in record time while learning about their group mates for the upcoming year.
“With Corona, I often feel isolated and very distant from my friends,” said Tina Dong a second-year SLJC student from Northview High School, “but the escape game was an exciting experience that allowed me to work together with friends again!" When considering a virtual escape room, we quickly realized that we were not tethered to Atlanta so we began to investigate virtual games throughout the country and beyond. We discovered Lost Escape Games in Lithuania. The owners worked with us to plan out a fantastic virtual retreat experience that was nearly 5,000 miles away and a 7-hour time zone difference and it worked perfectly.
Our hosts at Lost Escape patiently worked with eleven different groups of students helping them through the process of escaping in a set amount of time. "It was nice meeting so many young people who wanted to spend their time solving puzzles and improving their logical and team buildings skills.” said one of our hosts, “Every team was different so it was really exciting working with all of you!" For more information on Lost Escape Games, visit https://www.lostescape.lt/en/pabegimo-kambarys-aleksote/ and receive a 10% discount on a virtual game enter the coupon code “friends.”
The virtual retreat officially kicked off the 9th year of Student Leadership Johns Creek and the program will continue with monthly program days in a virtual platform at least through December, 2020. The first-year students will work on community projects which, by necessity, will be done virtually. The second-year students will work on creating an on-line portfolio including a Linked-In profile and resume. In addition, the students will be shadowing a business professional in a field of study they are interested in pursuing. Our Student Leadership Johns Creek Ambassadors will also be facilitating two candidate debates virtually this fall.
The two-year SLJC program is managed by an advisory committee under the direction of Leadership Johns Creek, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, in collaboration with Fulton County Schools. Aside from managing the day-to-day functions, the Executive Director, Irene Sanders, provides leadership by example to all of the students and the community. She is a Johns Creek resident and mother of two graduates of Johns Creek high schools and also serves as a Johns Creek Planning Commissioner; she knows first-hand the importance of leadership skills. Fundamental to the program is a rigorous application process that includes those students who have demonstrated solid or emerging leadership qualities. Applications for the 2021-22 class will be available December 1, 2020.
Students Participating in Student Leadership Johns Creek for 2020-2021 are:
Johns Creek High School
Lydia Grace Logan
Chattahoochee High School
Centennial High School
Northview High School
Tianyu “Tina” Dong