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WPLEC scholarship winner
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GP Juniors Kian Khonsari, Matt Bowers, Timmy Overcash, Connor Manrique-Johnson, James Morales, Dylan Clark, and Colin Willard attended the 2024 West Point Leadership and Ethics Conference on March 15, 2024, at George Mason University Arlington Campus. Each year, approximately 250 local high school juniors participate in the workshop. During the day, they learned how to deal with leadership and ethical challenges using West Point’s ethical decision-making model. It is based upon the model and framework taught to Cadets at the United States Military Academy.

The day is designed to help develop leaders of character and instill a sense of lifelong integrity. This is accomplished in two ways. First, they followed a workshop method where the students went through instruction, break-out sessions, and practical exercises, including scenarios that caused them to think and apply the Ethical Decision-Making Model. During the process, student delegates practiced the arts of critical thinking and moral reasoning to explore the ethical challenges raised in various vignettes. Second, they were given the tools and guidance to go and share their learnings with others when they got home. So, this day was not only an incredible experience for the select students, it is also a “train the trainer” event with the goal to enable them as leaders to share these methods and models with their peers, who can be their athletic team, the student body, or even various community organizations.

At the end of the day, the facilitators pick the best performers who distinguished themselves during the day. Based upon his effort, attitude, and insights, Kian was chosen as one of the top 36 contributors. These 36 students are given a take home scenario and complete a final essay demonstrating knowledge and application of the decision-making model. Even among these elite high-potential students, Kian distinguished himself yet again and excelled, earning one of only six scholarships from submissions.

Kian reflected about the conference, "The truth is, the conference taught me to confront my own strengths and doubts about my leadership abilities. I realized that true leadership is not about having all the answers or being perfect, but about embracing vulnerability and learning from both the successes and failures."

This is the second year in a row, the at GP student earned a scholarship. Ethan Ristu '24 earned this scholarship in 2023, and he is headed to Harvard College in the fall.