Students are giving the Fall Student Leadership Retreat rave reviews. The two-day retreat took place Oct. 2-3 at Talon Point retreat center, about 48 miles outside of Amarillo. More than 100 students and several Amarillo College faculty and staff members attended the event. This year, professional speaker Stan Pearson II facilitated the retreat. Pearson is a bilingual speaker, motivational comedian, author and host. “It was truly a great, powerful and genuine experience,” Pearson said after the event. The retreat included group activities, team-building exercises and a dance party. Students said they not only learned a lot but were able to get out of their comfort zones. “Getting involved in clubs is the best thing a student can do,” Student Life Director Heather Atchley said. The retreat is “very worth it. You make a lot of friends along the way,” said Lily Gamble, a mass media major and Student Government Association treasurer.The event received positive feedback from faculty members and students who attended. “It was buzzing with energy and fun from the beginning due to the dynamic personalities of the leaders and participants,” Honors Coordinator Lesley Ingham said. “The highlight of the retreat was trainer and motivational speaker Stan Pearson, who led the group in meaningful discussions on self-esteem and leadership while entertaining the crowd with humor, song … and smooth dance moves!” Dr. Larry Adams, a social science professor, said the speaker gave meaningful advice.
“The guest speaker, Stan Pearson, encouraged us all to look inside ourselves to discover our own identity and not let anyone else kill our dreams,” Adams said. “I believe the best part was Stan’s leadership in a very interactive discussion where the students responded to some of the most controversial issues facing society today. “Everyone was open and bold in addressing these issues face on.” New and returning students also had good things to say about the retreat. “The best part of the retreat to me was the interaction the students got to experience, not only with the staff and guest speaker, but with each other,” said Sam Wood, an engineering major. “It was a wonderful way to meet new people and see old friends in a new light.” The retreat was “an amazing experience,” said Meranda Graves, a general studies major. “Getting to know other people and seeing their point of views and engaging with others was awesome. Stan Pearson was pretty hilarious and encouraging.” “Stan Pearson was a phenomenal speaker and a great motivator to find you’re sexy from the inside out,” said Alexandra Pettit, a general studies major. “The retreat was great. It brought everyone together,” said Hagen Smith, a general studies major. The SGA plans a second retreat for next semester. The spring retreat will replace the distinguished lecture. It will differ from the fall event because it will have a different facilitator focusing on different aspects of leadership.