K’si: Kansas State Uni. Empowers Youth Through Adaptive and Strength-Based Leadership

More than 35 young persons in Kumasi have been empowered to lead strategic leadership change through an Adaptive and Strength-Based Leadership Training from the Staley School of Leadership Studies at the Kansas State University in the United States of America.

The participants drawn from professionals in the public and private sector, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, the media, volunteers as well tertiary students, attended the 2-day event at Rosewood Cottage organized by Agrointroductions Ghana from October 26 to October 27, 2018.

The Adaptive and Strength-Based Leadership Training, was facilitated by instructors Tamara Bauer, M.S and Kait Long, M.A who helped participants better appreciate leadership principles, diagnosing situations, managing self, resolving conflicts, identifying diverse team strengths among others in their respective professions, organizations, communities and day-to-day activities.

Speaking to Ultimate FM’s Patricia Ama Bonsu, Instructor, Kait Long expressed delight about Kansas State University’s ability to share such in-depth wealth of knowledge with the beneficiaries.

She also underscored that the execution of the training, was made possible through the Reciprocal Exchange Grant and the relationship built with 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow, Stephen Ofori.

“Kansas State University is a host institution for the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF), which is part of the Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI) Programme.”

“In 2016, Stephen Ofori came to Kansas State as part of our 2016 Cohort, so we were able to establish a relationship with him there and the partnership continued as we applied for a Reciprocal Exchange Grant through IREX in the US Department of State”, Ms Long hinted.

She added that “we were award the Reciprocal Exchange Grant to come work here in Kumasi and also in Ho with a 2017 Fellow that we hosted”.

Kait Long was optimistic the participants had been equipped with the necessary materials to lead a new paradigm of leadership which will champion the course of change.

“I hope they take away specific strategies that they can actually engage and work. I know sometimes when I attend conferences and trainings, I’m really excited about it but can’t necessarily implement what I have learnt and so when we were designing the curriculum and gathering information from Stephen about the participants, we really tried to be intentional to make sure people can implement strategies to make progress on; issues related to the environment in Kumasi and the surrounding communities as well.”

On her part, Instructor, Tamara Bauer noted, she was highly enthused at the show of sense of purpose, the trainees exhibited through the interactions the sessions.

“I think the idea that leadership is an activity and that we need everyone to own, that they can actually exercise leadership and practice it in ways that move our community and our issues were heard.”

“I was so impressed by their willingness to learn and engage. You can tell they care a lot about what they do and how to make Ghana the best it can be and that was really inspiring”, Ms Bauer revealed.

She further mentioned “I also think they were willing to work hard and think through challenges in new ways and it was really fun to do that with them.”

Stephen Ofori on behalf of the participants expressed his gratitude to the Alumni Exchange Grant, Kansas State University, the US Embassy Ghana, and other stakeholders for ensuring the realization of the Adaptive and Strength-Based Leadership Training happened.

“The Alumni Exchange Grant allows American professionals come to Africa and for that matter Ghana to also collaborate with us and also share their experience whiles also learning from us and fortunately we won this grant.”

He also touched on how sensitive leadership is, hence the need to engage every stakeholder at all levels of decision-making.

“Leadership has many stakeholders involved and if administering your leadership and a part feels they are not heard well, what will happen is whether they will coil back or they rebel”.

All the participants at the completion of the 2-day event were awarded certificates from the Staley School of Leadership Studies for their contribution to the programme.

By: Ghana/Ultimatefmonline.com/106.9FM/Patricia Ama Bonsu