Steven Puckett, assistant principal at Indian Land Elementary School, is a man on a mission.
His mission is to cultivate the students of today to be influential leaders of tomorrow with the iLead Program. This will be accomplished by adhering to the following tenets: investing time, leading by example, educating, and developing character through opportunities to serve.
Selected boys in grades three to five embark on a journey to cultivate and develop the necessary traits to become a leader and develop essential character. The boys have a creed:
“I accept responsibility and ownership of my action and my words. I will not make excuses for my poor decisions. Everyday I will strive to be an example in what I do and what I say. I will live my life with discipline, courage, and integrity. I am a leader.”
They wear shirts and ties while doing this program. Puckett has started a stash of shirts and ties just in case someone forgets theirs or doesn’t have one. Not only that, but there is pizza for lunch.
Once the students have completed the six-week curriculum requirements and service log, selected students are assigned a mentor. The mentor will engage in a structured and organized relationship with a younger male characterized by continuous interaction that provides the young men with access to a positive role model. Dads and men in the community visit the school every morning to greet students, promote character and set a positive example of involvement together with the iLead students. A handshake or a high five at the school’s entrance makes a great start to the day.
The iLead boys love the greeting at the door part.
There is so much more to this program that I wish I had room to tell it all.
Puckett started this program on a limited budget but thanks to the generosity of Transformation Church in Indian Land he is able to continue and expand in the future.
William Jennings Bryan wrote, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.”
Kudos to Puckett for leading this incredible program and also to the Transformation Church for their donation.