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CU students participate in seminar

Although Tuesday's Live2Lead seminar will mark the culmination of months of work, in some ways it will be only the beginning of what organizers want to accomplish.

The Lawton Rotary Leadership Institute's conference at Lawton First Assembly will feature live speakers former Oklahoma Gov. George Nigh, former Oklahoma City Major Kirk Humphreys, motivational speaker Shannon Selmon-Carter, and John Maxwell of the John Maxwell leadership development organization. The simulcast speaker will be Dave Ramsey, author, host of "The Dave Ramsey Show" on radio and creator of Financial Peace University. 

A large number of the 1,300 or so participants will be college or high school students who'll be attending because the McMahon Foundation bought 400 tickets, and Cameron University is making plans to build upon the conference to encourage students to develop ideas to improve the community. 

Conference organizer Stan Booker said Rotary members began exploring ways to increase youth participation as a result of realizing that many of the community's young people aren't seriously considering staying in or returning to Lawton, either because of a lack of jobs or a belief that the community doesn't offer the quality of life they're seeking.

Too often, Booker said, older adults assume that the world they aspired to is what their children and grandchildren are expecting even as the pace of change  societal and technical  continues to increase. They're building for the next generations but don't bother to ask what the next generations want.

Booker talked with Cameron University President John McArthur about the issue, and the Cameron Presidential Leaders and University Scholars (PLUS) students were asked to come up with ideas they'd like to see implemented.

The PLUS students are even more involved now; after attending the seminar, they'll be asked to roundtable meetings to discuss suggestions for action. Eventually, they'll narrow their ideas to a few topics and present their recommendations to community leaders.

Payton Bruce, an Elgin High School graduate who works for Booker is and a PLUS student, has helped put together the process.

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