Travelers Rest HS student selected as emerging public leader

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. – Westin Hardesty, a senior at Travelers Rest High School, was one of 16 participants from across South Carolina who took part in Furman University's 2014-15 Emerging Public Leaders Program.

The week-long program, held at the end of June at the Riley Institute on the Furman campus, featured sessions with local, state and national governmental leaders as well as faculty members from Furman's Department of Political Science. Students attended lectures, participated in off-campus trips, and interacted with speakers and faculty individually and in small-group sessions.

The award-winning program is offered free of charge and is designed for a select group of rising high school seniors who desire to get involved in their communities and make a difference. Students are selected through a rigorous application process which includes an essay component and recommendation by a teacher or counselor.

“We've created a week packed with experiences that enable students to gain the confidence, motivation, information and skills necessary to become leaders in both domestic and international policy arenas,” said Melanie Armstrong, program director.

During the program, participants also develop plans for student-led projects which address a need in their respective communities. Students return home to work with local residents and peers on the implementation of their projects. In spring 2015, students come to Furman to present their completed projects; and students with the most successful projects are awarded a cash prize.

For more information, contact the Riley Institute (864) 294-3546 or visit the Emerging Public Leaders Program website.