‘EvolveU’ preparation underway


Gabrielle Wood

Kandace Formaggio, an academic advisor, demonstrates effective ways to engage an audience through presenting. This workshop aided presenters, who will be facilitating “EvolveU” on Nov. 13.

To help students improve leadership skills, the university organized “EvolveU,” a one-day conference held for high school students from Louisiana and surrounding areas.

In preparation for the upcoming “EvolveU” event scheduled for Nov. 13, a seminar was held for speakers and volunteers to learn more about the art of public speaking.

The seminar took place on Feb. 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Student Union.

Leah Cross, Student Government Association chief justice, discussed the age group of students invited to attend the event.

“‘EvolveU’ at Southeastern Louisiana University is a one-day high school leadership conference for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors from Louisiana and the surrounding areas,” explained Cross.

Although the event is designed for high schoolers, university students can serve as volunteers or speakers after registering and training. Volunteers must help with setups, check-ins and  provide assistance. Presenters and volunteers receive free lunch and a T-shirt.

During the public speaking training, volunteers were given guidance on how to present and what tools they can use to guide students. Volunteers were taught to use icebreakers such as Kahoot and Canva to grab their audience’s attention.

“The conference is going on in its third year,” said Cross. “Southeastern students have the chance to present, as well as phenomenal speakers from the community and other areas.”

The purpose of “Evolve U” is to provide high school students with the knowledge of skills that will benefit their roles in the community and school systems. Presenting, interviewing and networking are practiced among the attendees and volunteers.

The four main lessons taught during the seminar were on leadership coaching, collaboration techniques, communication and achieving balance.

Cross explained what high school students can expect from the “EvolveU” conference.

“The conference is designed to equip, empower and inspire high school students with valuable leadership skills that will benefit them in their daily lives as they continue to grow as influential leaders in school, in their community and among peers,” shared Cross. “Participants will have the opportunity to explore various aspects of leadership, meet other student leaders and learn about and discuss leadership roles alongside Southeastern students, staff and faculty.”

“EvolveU” will have several opportunities for volunteers to attend workshops throughout the semester. To apply to become a volunteer for this year’s “EvolveU” conference, Contact Leah Cross or Mattie Hawkins at [email protected].