Bowie student chosen for National Four Star Leadership Program


— Karla Talley, age 17, an incoming senior this fall at Bowie High School, is among 50 students nationwide who have been selected to participate in the Four Star Leadership program, offering leadership training, policy debate, speech competition and scholarships, and the opportunity to engage with national and global leaders, July 14-20 in Oklahoma City.

Talley was chosen for her demonstrated leadership abilities and outstanding character. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Ladies with Class Organization, student government, Maryland Youth Advisory Council, is a student board member of Prince George’s County Education Coalition, and is a scholarship recipient and Alumna of Running Start’s Young Women Political Leadership Conference 2012. Talley plans to attend either University of Maryland College Park, or George Washington University

“I’m excited to attend the Four Star Leadership Institute because I’m really passionate about pursuing a career in politics,” said Talley

Former Commander-in-Chief of American and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, General Tommy Franks will host the camp, and guest speakers at the conference will include news commentator and former presidential consultant Karl Rove, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb. Round-trip travel for Talley and the other participants in the program has been generously provided by PepsiCo, Inc.

Since 2008, “Four Star” has welcomed more than 200 high school students from all over the U.S., and 30 international students. Kings, governors, senators, Olympic gold medalists and top national policy experts have mentored students in developing and demonstrating the core leadership principles of the program: character, common vision, communication, and caring.

Each session will follow a curriculum designed to develop leadership skills and challenge students through teambuilding exercises, collaboration, spontaneous problem solving and competition. Excursions during the week will provide the participants opportunities to further develop and employ those skills through cultural experiences and service projects.

“This life-changing learning experience is the finest kind of investment in a young person’s character, education and commitment to a lifetime of leadership,” said Gen. Franks.

This year’s Four Star Leadership Congressional Debate competition offers students expert policy briefings so they may address those issues in persuasive speech and editorial contests, while collaborating in a model Student Congress. Students will investigate contemporary policy controversies ranging from energy policy to human rights.

Competition finalists will be awarded scholarships to be applied at the college of their choice. Four participants who successfully complete the program will have an opportunity to receive a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Texas in Arlington and every student will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop their leadership potential.