“So much of what we think of as leadership has changed in 15 years,” says Barrett Jamison, Dean of Student Life and co-creator, with Laura Campobasso, of the school’s Leadership program, FLINT (Flintridge Leadership Initiative). Today, student activities across campus include elements of leadership. Whether students are working in small groups to solve a problem or are part of an ad-hoc committee responsible for making Spirit Week happen, they bring the core values of the school’s Leadership program—integrity, spirit, collaboration, commitment and initiative—to life across campus. A full 95% of Prep seniors lead and mentor other students by their final year in high school.
FLINT creates a leadership culture that helps students identify and develop core strengths and critical skills while embodying Prep’s values. This culture enables students to stand up for what they are passionate about and believe, both while attending Prep and beyond.
About the Program
The FLINT Leadership training program exposes all students to important leadership concepts. A core component of the training program is the idea that all students, regardless of title, are leaders. Through formal training, students learn to recognize their skills and strengths. They also practice their skills using real-world activities and scenarios during scheduled class sessions. Eventually, over five years, these skills become habits of mind, even if students choose not to participate in one of the myriad formal leadership opportunities on campus, such as peer counseling, clubs, Student Senate, the Athletic Council on Leadership and the Student Community Action Council.
The leadership training program spans the curriculum and begins in 8th grade for all students. Through class trips, retreats and class sessions, the trainings help students understand Prep’s definition of leadership and provide opportunities to practice skills in time management, communication, integrity, problem solving, commitment, creativity, flexibility and other topics.
For example, in a session on listening and body language, students might work in small groups. While one student tries to tell each other something important, the students listening play with their phones. In another exercise, students might act out their emotions for one other while the rest of the group reads the nonverbal cues to understand what the actor is trying to convey. The takeaway is that communication is about more than talking and hearing; when people actively demonstrate that they are listening, they build trust. Reinforcement and repetition are built into the program as students grow and mature.
FLINT Student Organization
The FLINT student group educates and provides tools to encourage students to exemplify leadership qualities daily. The group seeks to integrate a leadership message into everyday life through a variety of creative and digital media. The group calls on leaders in the alumni community to participate in a student speaker series called FLINTERviews.