More than 500 high school students from around East and North Texas will attend this first IB Youth Leadership Conference hosted by LeTourneau University and Longview Independent School District. This is expected to be an annual event held from 8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 8, in the S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center at 2100 S. Mobberly Ave.
The LeTourneau University-Longview International Baccalaureate Schools Youth Leadership Conference will provide a day of leadership training for students based on the Harvard Graduate School of Education Principals’ Center model of team building activities, training, and reflection, provide the opportunity for the Longview community to observe the International Baccalaureate program, and provide the opportunity to hear Yordanos Refu and Britney Grayson
Presentations by LeTourneau University student projects such as LEGS for Africa, Swarming Robots, Computer Stimulation Games, and Aeronautics will be shown from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Speaker Yordanos Refu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Her family immigrates to Boise, Idaho seven years ago after spending several years in Djibouti as political refugees. She had no formal education until she arrived in Boise in 2001. In 2004, she received a full scholarship from a local family foundation to attend Riverstone in 2007 and received three IB certificates in English A1 SL, French B HL, and History of the Americas HL. She speaks four languages and credits the IB programme for her success in college. Today, she is a freshman at the College of Idaho studying international politics and economics.
Speaker Britney Grayson was born in Norman, Oklahoma and reared in Houston, Texas before moving back to Oklahoma when her mom was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called lupus. She completed the IB diploma at Booker T. Washington High School and earned a full scholarship to the University of Tulsa. After beginning an original research project studying lupus in college, she graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2004 with a degree in Biology. In the fall of that same year, she enrolled at Vanderbilt University Medical School to begin an 8 year program leading to both MD and PhD degrees. Her passion in life is to find a cure for lupus for her mom, and so other families will not have to go through what her family experienced.