South Texas College (STC) held its 5th annual Junior Jaguar Leadership Conference on Dec. 1. The event is intended to train young “ambassadors” about the importance of college so they may pass on the message to their peers in schools across the Valley.


Parents were also on hand and participated in workshops like College Knowledge, Financial Literacy and Employability Skills.


Elementary students were selected to represent the college, and then tasked with spreading the word to others on the importance of education.


The conference has been designed to teach students about leadership, financial literacy, and college preparation. After attending, students will be prepared to take on a role as an ambassador to South Texas College and be a mentor to their peers.


“You are the ambassadors from your elementary school for South Texas College,” STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed told students during welcoming remarks at the conference. “You were selected by your teachers and counselors who have recognized you as future leaders. You are going to represent the college not only while you’re in elementary, but also when you get into high school.


“We are counting on you to help spread the word that everybody can go to college, and it’s an opportunity for everyone,” Dr. Reed said. “If you start planning now, you can be ready when you finish high school.”


Children from various elementary schools were selected from those in the student body who displayed commitment to leadership and their community.


Students enjoyed a day of fun-filled activities and projects to help develop leadership skills and inspire them to understand the value of higher education.


“This is a fun place to be, and the college has a lot to offer you,” Matthew Hebbard, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at STC, told students at the conference. “It’s very important for you to be here and get to know us, and get to know your future.


“It’s very important to decide what you are going to do with your life, and we want to be a part of that as well,” Hebbard said. “You are leaders in your schools, and you are future leaders in the community.”