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UPrep Supports Each Student’s Leadership Potential

Read about how four UPrep Upper School students lead in their own way.

UPrep Supports Each Student’s Leadership Potential
Leadership opportunities come in many shapes and sizes

UPrep offers students a range of opportunities to find their voice, their passions, and their purpose. Students acquire leaderships skills in many ways: through the extraordinary Fine Arts Program, the no-cut Athletics Program, co-curricular activities, and student-led clubs. Teachers, coaches, mentors, and friends encourage Pumas to develop their potential and learn to lead their way. Below, we invited a few Upper School students to talk with us about their leadership journey. The interviews have been edited slightly for clarity and grammar.

UPrep junior Cate F.

Cate F., junior

Leadership Role: Theatre, in The Prom fall 2023

What’s your definition of a leader?

A leader is someone who not only believes in themself but believes in others and influences them in a way that is positive and best for their well-being.

Who are your leadership role models? Why?

My sister, who is two years older than me, is a role model.  She was captain of her lacrosse team and a weekly tutor. She found forms of leadership through small acts, as well as larger ones. That influenced me to understand that leadership can come in many shapes and sizes.

How are you supported at UPrep to be a leader?

I grew up doing dance. When I came into the UPrep drama program, I realized that I wanted to explore my interest in dance and Ms. Klein [the dance teacher] created a platform for me to grow. She encouraged me, but also pushed me to do better. She found ways to compliment and celebrate my accomplishments while understanding that there was room for improvement. I think a lot of UPrep teachers do that.

UPrep senior Lielle G.

Lielle G., senior

Leadership Role: Mental Health Advisory Board

How do you define leadership?

A leader is someone who helps lift up the community. Leadership is about making sure that everyone’s voice is heard. It’s not just a couple of people making decisions, but instead everyone is participating and then the leaders help to execute those ideas and decisions.

How are you supported at UPrep to be a leader?

There are so many different opportunities at UPrep to be a leader. You can start your own club or join one that is already in existence, like the Mental Health Advisory Board. Every club has an advisor and for the Mental Health Advisory Board, the counselors have provided important expertise, support in identifying resources, and serving as a sounding board.

UPrep sophomore Anousha M.

Anousha M., sophomore

Leadership Role: Model UN

How do you define leadership?

Leadership is the desire and ability to make a positive change in the world and make an impact on people’s lives for the better. Leadership requires setting goals, active listening, empathy, collaboration, and being passionate about what you are doing.

Who are your leadership role models? Why?

My late grandfather BB Bhattacharya was a renowned economist from India whose policy work was internationally acclaimed and made a difference in people’s lives. He was a quiet, yet determined leader, who was empathetic to vulnerable people, and he motivated others to work toward a vision of a better world. Even though he isn’t here with me today, he continues to inspire me.

UPrep senior Bryant L.

Bryant L., senior

Leadership Role: Black Student Union

Who are your leadership role models? Why?

John Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr. are my biggest role models because of their ability to create change. I had the opportunity to meet Congressman John Lewis when he visited Seattle. When I started doing public speaking in eighth grade, looking back on Dr. King’s speeches inspired me so much with how he paved the way for Black people. His “I Have a Dream” speech was inspiring and encouraged me to dream big and believe in myself.

How are you supported at UPrep to be a leader?

LEAD conversations* helped me learn how to facilitate a conversation, engage others, and bring up new topics for discussion. In English and history classes, we have seminar conversations and there are times when we are asked to start the discussion or other times when no one is talking and so you have to be the one to step forward.

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UPrep Alumni Hold Leadership Roles in College and Beyond

We recently asked our alums about their leadership roles in college. Three out of 10 shared that they hold positions in a range of student clubs and activities, from captain of the mock trial team and president of a student organization to serving on the board of a sorority.  Our Pumas’ leadership trajectory continues beyond college: nearly a third of alums report that they serve on the board of a nonprofit or community organization following college graduation. Pumas demonstrate their intellectual courage and social responsibility as they step forward locally and globally.

YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT HOW MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY LEAD A LIFE OF LEARNING HERE.

Headshot photograph of University Prep Director of Marketing & Communications, Mary Beth Lambert, wearing a maroon jacket

By Director of Marketing and Communications Mary Beth Lambert 

*LEAD is a mandatory, student-led and designed Upper School program where students gather in assigned groups once a month for peer-facilitated conversations about current social issues.



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