The Batiest siblings selected to participate in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute

Two ambitious siblings at Alcorn State University have earned the opportunity to develop their leadership abilities.

Moriah and John Batiest were selected to participate in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s (TMCF) 17th annual Leadership Institute Conference Friday, Oct. 20 through Tuesday, Oct. 24 in Washington D. C.

The award-winning Leadership Institute is a national program intended to develop students’ leadership skills, create a community of scholars, provide companies with access to a talented and diverse student population and help students make connections that lead to careers. The conference prepares carefully selected students from the 47 publicly supported historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to compete in today’s competitive global workforce.

The opportunity is one that the Batiest bunch is grateful for. They look forward to adding valuable skills that would help them succeed in educational and professional settings.

“When I found out I was selected to attend the Leadership Institute, I could not believe it,” said Moriah. “This is such a wonderful opportunity and I am extremely humbled and grateful to have been chosen as one of the students to represent Alcorn.”

“It feels great being accepted into the Leadership Institute,” said John. “I’m looking forward to meeting new people and gaining experience. Opportunities like this don’t come around often, so you have to take it upon yourself to take advantage of them when they do come.”

The siblings understand that to be a great leader, one must first have the ability to serve and be a positive example for others.

“Being a leader means inspiring, uplifting and motivating others. A leader is not a dictator nor are they controlling, they look out for the well-being of others. A leader is someone who is able to lead people in the right direction while building them up,” said Moriah.

“A leader understands the environment around them. They know how to navigate through it along with people that look to them for guidance. Leaders should be vocal and lead by example. I don’t think you can suddenly become a leader; you have to be born with the skill. Maturity also plays a huge factor as well as versatility,” said John.

The aspiring leaders are looking forward to receiving all that conference has to offer. For Moriah, she’s looking forward to getting advice from seasoned leaders, while John is hoping to become a better communicator under pressure.

“I believe that the conference will enhance my leadership skills by allowing me to network and engage with those who have already been where I am headed. I also believe that this experience will provide me the opportunity to engage in activities that will help me grow as a person and allow me to share my experience with others,” said Moriah.

“Attending the conference will help me to communicate better. Speaking is one of my biggest problems when I’m uncomfortable. This conference will force me to present what I have to offer.”

The best part about participating in the conference is that they’ll be doing it together. The siblings share a strong bond, and making it to the next level together is a dream come true for them.

“Being able to share this experience with my brother is honestly one of the things I am most excited about. My brother and I are extremely close, and my parents raised us to take advantage of every opportunity we can. Having him by my side has made my college experience worth it because we are able to motivate each other,” said Moriah.

“It’s a dream scenario. I want to see my big sister continue to succeed, and I want to be right there with her. Since we are also new to the conference, it helps to see a familiar face,” said John.