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A Declaration of Leadership

Aug 01, 2016 01:19PM, Published by Savannah Ludwig, Categories: Family, Acadiana Life, Lifestyle Acadiana families




A Declaration of Leadership

Zhoriél Tapo, a first grade student at Plantation Elementary School, earned grand prize honors in a speech contest open to students nationwide and across Canada.

The Leader in Me, which is a program founded by Franklin Covey Corporation out of Salt Lake City, Utah, was developed in an effort to assist students in building leadership skills. Franklin Covey specifically focused their attention on public speaking  In an endeavor to develop their students’ public speaking skills, Leader in Me schools offer students opportunities to speak at Leadership Day Symposiums, assemblies, and in the classroom. Franklin Covey encouraged all Leader in Me students to continue improving this skill set with this first-ever contest.  In the Acadiana area alone, there are twenty nine Leader in Me schools totaling over 16,500 children.  

Zhoriél was notified of her grand prize award on June 3, 2016 live via Skype at Plantation Elementary, where she celebrated with family members and administrators. Her speech titled A Declaration of Leadership garnered a $500 leadership grant, as well as a featured post on The Leader in Me YouTube channel and the Leader in Me blog.Students who participated in the contest were asked to describe how they would spend the potential $500 prize.  

Zhorie’l stated that she planned to put some of the funds aside for her two younger sisters’ college funds. She also stated that she planned to give a portion of the money to her school bus driver, who was injured in a non-work related automobile accident, which has kept her away from work for months. Zhorie’l hopes that the money will help her bus driver feel better and hopefully return to work.

Zhorie’l’s award winning speech can be viewed on YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p20SR0e2Uc.


A Declaration of Leadership

By: Zhorie’l Tapo

A leader...That’s what I strive to be.

Being Proactive…I’ll take care of it, I got it!  And you didn’t even have to ask me.

A leader puts first things first. Sure I’d like to stay outside and play,

But I’ve got homework to finish so hopscotch, jump rope, riding my bike and scooter; it’ll just have to wait.

You see, it takes a strong person to be a leader.  Not in the body, but strong in the mind.

Because once things turn sour, there is no undo button. You can’t press rewind.

A leader has to make the smart decision the first time.  It only takes a second to get into trouble, but a lifetime to repair it.

So I’ll try to be that leader that will help you see clearer…matter of fact, right now, I’ll declare it!

I’m a Leader!  I don’t think it, I know!

Realize, a leader doesn’t have to be a Dr. King, Rosa Parks, the President, or the Pope.

A leader can be a principal, janitor, bus driver, a student, or just someone who gives others hope.

Some leaders stand in front with their following behind.

I choose to stand hand-in-hand with OTHER LEADERS, side-by-side.

And together we say “Stop the Bullying, Stop the Teasing, Stop the Fighting!”

There are peaceful ways problems can be handled.

Other than posting violent and hurtful messages on Instagram, Facebook, and the You Tube channel.

We can talk about our problems. You see, one day, I plan to lead a nation.

But for the time being, I’ll start with just little old me…Right here at PLANTATION!





Acadiana families Parenting Leader In Me Zhorie’l Tapo Plantation Elementary


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