Fresno County students are learning what it takes to be a leader

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- High school students are learning what it takes to be a leader. Thursday, the Fresno County Office of Education kicked off its second servant leadership academy.

These students are putting teamwork to the test at Fresno County's Servant Leadership Academy. The high school students come from across the Valley and many say they were pushed out of their comfort zones, working with students they'd never met before.

Orange Cove student, Nancy Reyes, said, "It's kind of nerve wracking because I don't know what to expect. It's really cool though because we get to know each other and help each other. If something happens, we're there. It's really nice little bond with everybody."

Program Director Manuel Escandon says they hope to inspire these young students to make an impact on a big scale.

"There's a need for social change on campus," said Escandon. "Our mission is to create agents of change on campus is when they go back to their schools and communities. They make them better places."

About 44 students are a part of this class of students in the academy. They come from as far away as Kerman and Coalinga.

Cassy Lozano with Coalinga High School said, "I want to learn a lot of new strategies and how to talk to people. How to get to know them and know myself like challenges and stuff like that."

Through each exercise, students said there were challenged to communicate and look at situations through others' eyes. Organizers say this academy can help transform a child and a community.

Program Director, Cedric Hardamon, added, "If you tell a child that they can and give them the tools that allow them to be, they will be and that's what I've been able I see and it's heartwarming for me."

This is the beginning of the eight month servant leadership academy. Organizers can't wait to see the change that happens across Valley schools.

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