Updated: Apr 10, 2022
At AIClub, we have been fortunate to see our students learn and grow with us and become leaders in their communities - giving back to others and using their experience and skills to help the community. In this blog, we discuss leadership, what it means to be a leader in high school, and how our AIClub Ambassadors impact their communities.
What are some great qualities of a Student Leader?
There are many qualities that good leaders have and it is never too early to develop leadership skills. Skills that high school students can develop include communication skills, setting examples, and mentoring. Good leaders communicate well and by communicating, they are able to impact the lives of others and help others to succeed, By showcasing in their own lives and accomplishments what is possible, they provide goals for others to aspire to. Via mentoring, student leaders help others in their communities learn and practice what they have learned.
Why is Leadership important in High School?
High School is a great time in life to start developing the leadership skills that you will hone throughout your life. The three skills outlined above (communication, example and goal setting, and mentoring) can all be practiced in high school. For example, if you have completed a great science fair project, you can present it to your school or community. Such a presentation helps develop your communication skills and shows younger students what is possible. By mentoring, you can teach others and also develop valuable communication and inter-personal relationship skills that will serve you well in college and beyond. Leadership skills improve with practice. The sooner you start the better.
What does Leadership mean in High School?
There are many opportunities to demonstrate leadership. Some leadership activities that we have seen our students do include
- Starting a club (in our case an AI Club) at your school
- Mentoring younger students in their AI and STEM projects
- Speaking at other schools about projects you have done
- Teaching other kids
- Working with non-profits
- Solving problems in your community and working with your community to put the solution into practice.
What is "Leadership Experience" in College Applications?
It is well known that leadership matters in college applications (and in jobs after college also!). Why do colleges look for leadership in addition to academic accomplishments? It is because leadership demonstration helps colleges understand the type of individual a student is likely to become, and the impact they are likely to have in society. Colleges are looking to create the leaders of tomorrow, and leadership and impact demonstrated in a high school context gives an early indicator that the applicant is likely to become one of those leaders.
How do you show Leadership in High School?
One of the key differences between accomplishments and leadership is Impact. Accomplishments can demonstrate that a student is intelligent, hardworking and is able to plan and execute on their plans. Impact shows that their work has helped others. Impact can show up in many ways - for example - mentoring another student is an impactful activity - it has helped the mentee improve in some way. Going from accomplishment to impact almost always requires some leadership skill - since it requires that you have practiced the communication, example setting, and mentoring required to help someone else.
How learning AI provides Unique Leadership Opportunities for High School Students
Since it is well known that colleges look for leadership, many high school students are looking for unique ways to demonstrate leadership. This is challenging - there can only be so many school clubs, and only so many captains of sports or other teams. Our students have found many ways to leverage their AI learnings to demonstrate leadership and impact. The first step is often to create meaningful projects that solve real problems in their communities and in the world. The second step is to engage with their communities to put the solution into practice, or to share their learnings with other students to teach and mentor. As AI becomes more pervasive, AI Literacy becomes a requirement for everyone, regardless of age or job role - and AIClub students are helping the world become more AI Literate.
AIClub's senior team is all made up of leaders in business, academia, technology and research. Many of us have founded companies, led teams and built products. We use this experience to help our students develop and demonstrate their leadership skills via the AIClub Ambassadors program. AIClub Ambassadors are High School students who leverage their technical learnings, project accomplishments, and competition wins to impact their communities. For an example, check out the blog about Shriya's presentation here. AIClub also works with numerous non-profit organizations and creates opportunities for our Ambassadors to work with these organizations.
How to Apply
AIClub Ambassadors are selected based on their technical knowledge and their passions and goals. If you would like to become an AIClub Ambassador - please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an interview.