Five Southeast Missouri State University students were among 98 college students who participated in the 33rd Annual Missouri Governor’s Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values Feb. 14-16 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 forums’ guiding principle is teaching students to embrace altruism rather than egotism.
Students participating from Southeast were Annie Martin and Shadan Roumany, both of Cape Girardeau; Grace Smith; Annalyse Todd of Kennett, Missouri; and Kade Fleming of Evansville, Indiana.
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft welcomes students to the annual forum created by his father, former Missouri Governor and 79th U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Students began the day having breakfast with Gov. Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson at the Missouri Governor’s Mansion.
Students heard from several speakers who lead by example, including Rebecca Welsh, founder of HALO, a non-profit organization supporting homeless and at-risk children; John Stroup, minister at Freeway Ministries who devotes his life to helping individuals overcome life struggles; Freda Boateng, senior administrative assistant for Admissions and Financial Aid at New York Law School and a freelance poet; Ramesh Balayar, professor of Global Resources, Poverty, Sustainable Development and Environmental Sociology at Iowa State University; Bob Priddy, retired news director of Missourinet; Lethia Owens, author and branding expert; Missouri State Rep. Kevin Windham, a Southeast alumnus; and Missouri State Rep. Travis Fitzwater.