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UIndy Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard hosts leadership program for high school sophomores

The University of Indianapolis continues its leadership development program for Indiana high school sophomores with a statewide discussion February 16, 2019, bringing together more than 100 high school sophomores from around the region with interests in business, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The event, “Embracing the Future,” hosted by University of Indianapolis Visiting Fellow and former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, promotes leadership skills by encouraging students to embrace change in a positive way; and is one of a series of initiatives throughout the year designed to prepare the next generation of Indiana’s leaders. Attendees are nominated by their high schools.

Ballard will deliver a keynote address followed by afternoon sessions that touch on topics important to attendees’ personal and professional futures. The speech will explore the theme of democracy and how young people can become engaged citizens by educating themselves not just about the issues of the day but also about history. Ballard also encourages students to expand their network to learn different perspectives.

“Learn from everyone around you, including those with whom you might have the least in common. We all bring our life experiences, our upbringing, our education to how we currently think and act. That is a strength of America, not a weakness,” Ballard said.

Afternoon sessions include topics such as “Fail Fest” and “1 Million Cups,” a free, nationwide program designed to educate, engage and accelerate early-stage startups across all industries.

The following high schools will be represented at the 2019 “Embracing the Future” event:

Greenwood Community, Riverside, North White, Bremen, Ben Davis, Triton Central, Anderson Preparatory, Herron, Washington Township, Princeton Community, Mooresville, Western Boone, Tipton, Avon, Benjamin Bosse, Cascade, Jennings County, Crown Point, Frankfort, Signature School, West Washington, RoncalliCoumbusEast, Brownsburg, North Putnam, North White, Burris Laboratory, Waldron, Covenant Christian, BrebeufJeffersonville, South Knox, New Washington, University HS, Cardinal RitterGreencastleZionsville, Seymour, Crawford County, Seymour, Crown Point and White River Valley.

In addition to “Embracing the Future,” University initiatives such as the Lugar Academy encourage high school students to pursue skills in leadership and service. Retired Sen. Richard Lugar, who has hosted the Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders on campus for more than 40 years, works with students to identify the most pressing current events and political issues of our time.

Ballard, the former two-term Republican mayor of Indianapolis,  now serves as a Visiting Fellow for the Institute for Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives at the University of Indianapolis. He mentors students and creates programming to help them develop leadership and civic management skills.

The goal of the Institute is to connect the community with Indianapolis’ civic history by working closely with previous mayors and their staffs to collect and preserve photos, documents and other resources that were critical in establishing Indianapolis as a world-class city. The Mayoral Archives are available digitally at The Institute hosts the annual Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership each year at the University, at which civic leaders and community builders examine a topic important to the future growth of the city.