Wednesday, May. 7
Fauquier Times Staff
Two Kettle Run High School students – sophomore Harrison Premen and junior Mackenzie Ennis – have been selected to attend the week-long summer program “Leadership on the Lawn” at the University of Virginia, a program designed to strengthen the skills of students who have displayed leadership interest and potential in high school.
From July 6-11, Harrison and Mackenzie will interact with UVA students, staff and faculty through lectures and interactive problem-solving and team-building activities, including a ropes course. Participants gain insight into what leadership looks like on the college level, learn to work with others, and discover what their own leadership weaknesses and strengths are. During their stay at UVA, they also perform community service in the Charlottesville area.
Harrison applied for the program, he said, in order to learn how to be an effective leader and work cooperatively in a group.
“There is no simple way to become a leader,” he said. “It takes passion, determination, cooperation and creativity. I hope to learn this and more at Leadership on the Lawn.” He said he also wants to come away from the program with a memorable experience, new knowledge and new friends.
Harrison got his feet wet as a leader as a sixth grader in middle school when his band director at Warrenton Middle School asked him to stay after school to help out with the school’s fledgling recycling program. He helped with the program for three years and in eighth grade assumed leadership of the group.
“I taught the sixth graders how to participate in the program in an efficient manner, enabling the program to continue,” he said. “This experience helped me to realize that developing an organization, from the ground up, and continuing it for years, requires dedication, sacrifices – like being late to my first class and arriving to school early – and hard work.” He learned, he said, that it took commitment to an idea and an organization to see it succeed and that it requires “transferring this enthusiasm to the ones who replace you.”
Harrison received his school’s Community Services Award his eighth grade year for his participation and leadership in the school’s recycling program.
At Kettle Run, Harrison is a member of the Model United Nations Club, plays trumpet in the school’s marching band and is a member of the Wind Ensemble. He plans to be a charter member of the Young Libertarians at Kettle Run, pending School Board approval of the new organization.
Harrison said what motivates him to succeed is the idea that he has the ability to change the world and the course of humanity.
“Ever since I discovered my passion for politics,” he said, “I have always wanted to make a positive change in the world. There are so many people who gain political power, but abuse it for political gain.” He wants to succeed in the political environment, he said, in order to “make a change for liberty and freedom.”
Mackenzie said she wants to attend Leadership on the Lawn to broaden and expand her leadership skills.
“Most of the leadership abilities I have learned so far have come from books and videos,” she said.
She said her most meaningful leadership experience thus far has been through her own small distributorship of a liquid vitamin/healthy energy drinks company.
“I have had to lead and help other individuals that I have brought into the business,” she said. “I have to train them as well in creating and building their business.”
At Kettle Run, Mackenzie is involved in the National Honor Society, Relay for Life and the Breakfast Club with special needs students. She has limited time after school, she said, because she competes most weekends in equestrian events out of the area.
What motivates Mackenzie to succeed?
“The desire to be successful and, more importantly, independent motivates me to succeed,” she said. “I want to know I have the skills to conquer and excel at whatever I choose to do in life.”
KRHS sophomore Harrison Premen.