PTK members attend Leadership Conference

From left, PTK faculty advisor Jennifer Rupp, Childress Rittle, Priscilla Bianchini and Dawson Leach. 

Cowley College Phi Theta Kappa members of the Alpha Gamma Upsilon chapter in Arkansas City left for Kansas City on Sept. 20 to attend the Kansas/Nebraska Leadership Conference. Kansas City Kansas Community College hosted the conference filled with useful information, activity and fellowship.

Officers Priscilla Bianchini and Childress Rittle, member Dawson Leach, and faculty advisor Jennifer Rupp had the opportunity to interact with PTK leaders throughout the Kansas and Nebraska region, learn about scholarship opportunities at transfer schools, enhance their leadership skills, and have fun.

“I had a wonderful time at the conference,” Leach said. “It was awesome having the opportunity to network with PTK members from different colleges.”

The students received regional updates and learned more about PTK projects for the upcoming year and awards they can win. They attended breakout sessions about the history of PTK, fundraising, scholarships, and Competitive Edge, a program to increase soft skills and make students more competitive in the workforce.

All attendees also had the chance to complete Strengths Quest, an assessment of personal strengths, and learn about how to reap the benefits of each strength. The conference presented each student with a copy of CliftonStrengths for Students, so they can continue to work on their skills after the event.

Many speakers presented at the conference including Bill Cordes on “The YOGOWYPI Experience,” which means “You Only Get Out What You Put In.” James Elliot, the PTK International President, gave an “I AM PTK” talk about how PTK has affected his life. And the moving story of Dan Meers, the Kansas City Chief’s mascot. In the presentation titled “Courageous Leadership: Living a Life of Influence,” Meers regaled students with tales of his mascot stunts before moving to the stunt that almost killed him.

The students attended a fellowship activity at Main Event in Lenexa. The conference provided them with free passes to play laser tag, go bowling, climb a ropes course, play arcade games, and eat pizza. The Cowley students enjoyed these activities, particularly the ropes course, and it created a wonderful bonding experience.

In response to the speeches, Cowley student, Priscilla Bianchini, said, “I watched great speeches that made me think about my choices and what I should do to improve my life and how to help other people too. This conference showed that it is never too late to improve yourself. I realized that we have many more opportunities than we thought.”

Overall, the motivating and moving weekend was full of food, fun, and fellowship.

“For my first PTK conference, I enjoyed the chance to get to know our Cowley members more and also meet advisors from all over the region,” advisor Jennifer Rupp said.

The PTK members have returned motivated to begin their PTK projects and inspire others to join this amazing organization.

Bianchini stated, “I hope I can share more about what I have learned with other students.” She also thanked Cowley for making “this possible for us students.”

Members are also looking forward to continuing the student panty, a project started last year that provides free food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies to Cowley students struggling financially on campus.

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