High schoolers lead by example
Lansing High School doesn't have a traditional student council. Instead, class officers and four other students from each grade level make up a group called Leadership.
Leadership is more than a student council because members participate in projects outside of school as well as within it. For example, the Leadership class now is working on about 15 projects, including Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, organizing hot dog feeds after home football games and starting a Big Brothers, Big Sisters group in Lansing school district.
Senior class president Rachel Darrow said the group probably would be involved with 40 to 50 service and other projects before the school year was out.
Darrow has been in Leadership all four years of high school. She said she became interested when Leadership members visited Lansing Middle School and held a mock town meeting.
"They do so much stuff for everyone," she said. "There's always something going on."
Darrow said she enjoys Leadership because she likes to help, and she estimated she knows about 90 percent of her classmates now.
As senior class president, Darrow is the ranking officer in Leadership. That puts her in charge of making sure projects are on task. She said she helped to schedule events and facilitate communication among students, faculty and administration.
Projects are carried out by committees. Each committee organizes and plans its event, and other Leadership students are the "worker bees," Darrow said.
Darrow said committees come up with new projects or continue ones that were successful in the past. Every project is evaluated to see how it can be improved, she said.
Leadership isn't only projects, however. Darrow said the skills she's learned had helped her in everything, including athletics and being an older sister.
"This has helped me, probably, become a role model," she said.
Overall, Darrow said Leadership really was doing what it claims to - creating leaders.
"Leadership makes you want to step up and do things and not just be another person in the crowd," she said.
"Leadership is more than just projects - it's just a way of being."