Gavin Chasteen, Mercy Lubeju, Lydia Pobst, and Tafadzwa Mlambo were nominated to represent Southeast Missouri State University in a group of 80 collegiate students during the 38th Annual Missouri Governor’s Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values held Feb. 17-19, 2023 in Jefferson City, Missouri.
The Forum challenges students’ character development by encouraging them to reflect on their own decision-making skills, values, and belief systems. Students learned about how to reconcile relationships, stand for truth, and love others as they love themselves. The Forum’s guiding principle is teaching students to embrace altruism rather than egotism.
The Forum kicked off with an inspirational message from Rebecca Welsh, founder of Halo, a mission that provides housing, healing, and education to at-risk and homeless children. Students ended the day at the Capitol, touring the House Lounge and hearing from Bob Priddy, retired news director of Missourinet; visiting the Governor’s office for a meet and greet and message from Governor Mike Parson, and finally visiting the House Floor, led by Missouri State Senator Travis Fitzwater, and hearing from Rod Jetton, former Speaker of the House.
Students also heard from several speakers who lead by example, including Morgan Steward, business manager and former Mizzou D1 athlete; Wongani Mtika, consultant and mentor; Bryan Cizek, E3 Ranch Foundation; and Justin Campbell, regional director of Young Life.
The event started in 1986 under the leadership of former Missouri Governor and 79th U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.