Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650


February 13, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Abut 150 area high school students will learn about public service and leadership at the third annual John Ben Shepperd Leadership Forum Saturday, Feb. 23, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 3140 Dyer St.

The event, sponsored by the SMU Leadership Consultant Council, will feature sessions on leadership, communication and goal setting. A panel discussion will feature Dallas City Manager Ted Benavides, WFAA Channel 8 television news anchor Gloria Campos, SMU history lecturer and human rights activist Rick Halperin, and 6th District Court of Appeals Judge Carolyn Wright. Students will attend a Nonprofit Organizations Fair before developing their own community service projects.

Named for a former Texas Attorney General and Secretary of State, the John Ben Shepperd Leadership Forums, which are a program of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, are held at Texas college and university campuses to introduce goal-oriented young people to public service. Students learn how to influence their communities by encouraging them to become educated voters, volunteers with service agencies and members of civic boards, or elected public officials, among other things.

The day's activities will include the following:

  • 8:15 to 8:30 a.m. -- Registration in the commons area of the lower level of Hughes-Trigg Student Center.
  • 8:30 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. -- Students in groups of 10 to 15 will participate in leadership, communication and goal setting sessions, led by SMU faculty and administrators and Dallas civic leaders.
  • 11:55 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. -- Students will gather for a working lunch and hear from a panel that will include Benavides, Campos, Halperin and Wright.
  • From 1 to 1:20 p.m. -- Students will attend a Nonprofit Organizations Fair to learn about community service projects by various organizations.
  • 1:30 to 3 p.m. -- Students will develop a community service project on their own that targets a problem they see within their community or school.
  • 3:05 to 4 p.m.-- Closing session in which students will receive certificates.

Area high schools invited to participate in the forum are: A. Maceo Smith, Booker T. Washington, Bryan Adams, Dallas Christian, David W. Carter, Franklin Roosevelt, Greenhill Academy, H. Grady Spruce, Highland Park, J.J. Pearce, Jesuit, Justin F. Kimball, Lake Highlands, Lincoln, Mesquite, Moises Molina, North Dallas, North Mesquite, Seagoville, Skyline Center, South Oak Cliff, Thomas Jefferson, Yvonne Ewell Townview Center School for the Talented and Gifted, Yvonne Ewell Townview Center School of Science and Engineering, Yvonne Ewell Townview Center School of Business and Management, Yvonne Ewell Townview Center School for Government and Law, Ursuline Academy, W.T. White and W.W. Samuel.

For more information about the Shepperd Leadership Forum at SMU, call 214-768-4400.