Student Leadership Johns Creek (SLJC) kicked off their 2021-22 program in Covid-friendly fashion on Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 7. The kick-off retreat is normally hosted by a local escape game, but in this virtual world we decided to travel to Eastern Europe one more time to remotely participate in team building in three different virtual escape rooms. This year our 103 students representing Innovation Academy, Johns Creek; Centennial, Chattahoochee, and Northview High Schools didn’t miss a beat and escaped the games in record time while learning about their group mates for the upcoming year.
When considering a virtual escape room, we quickly realized that we were not tethered to Atlanta so we began to investigate virtual games throughout the country and beyond. We discovered Lost Escape Games in Lithuania. The owners worked with us to plan out a fantastic virtual retreat experience that was nearly 5,000 miles away and a 7-hour time zone difference and it worked perfectly.
Our hosts at Lost Escape patiently worked with sixteen different groups of students helping them through the process of escaping in a set amount of time. "All of our game masters say a massive thank you for being very polite, positive and smart young adults that are easy to guide. It’s been a wonderful experience for us and our game masters weren’t joking: you are more than welcome in Lithuania!” said one of our Lost Escape Room hosts, “Every team was different so it was really exciting working with all of you!" For more information on Lost Escape Games, visit https://www.lostescape.lt/en/pabegimo-kambarys-aleksote/ .
The virtual retreat officially kicked off the 9th year of Student Leadership Johns Creek and the program will continue with monthly in-person program days. The first-year students will work on community projects. The second-year students will work on creating an on-line portfolio including a Linked-In profile and resume. In addition, the students will be shadowing a business professional in a field of study they are interested in pursuing. Our Student Leadership Johns Creek Ambassadors will also be facilitating two candidate debates for Mayor and City Council in September.
The two-year SLJC program is managed by an advisory committee under the direction of Leadership Johns Creek, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, in collaboration with Fulton County Schools. Aside from managing the day-to-day functions, the Executive Director, Irene Sanders, provides leadership by example to all of the students and the community. She is a Johns Creek resident and mother of two graduates of Johns Creek high schools and also serves as a Johns Creek Planning Commissioner; she knows first-hand the importance of leadership skills. Fundamental to the program is a rigorous application process that includes those students who have demonstrated solid or emerging leadership qualities. Applications for the 2022-23 class will be available December 1, 2021.