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Students IGNITE at 2017 BHS Leadership Conference


Twenty-four of Bartlesville High School’s incoming seniors participated in the IGNITE Leadership Conference held on July 20-21. The conference was sponsored by the PlayForBurk Foundation, which received donations from Bartlesville Regional United Way, The Walton Family Foundation, Phillips 66, and ConocoPhillips.

One student said, “The conference was a great way to notice all of the people around you that are encouraging you to succeed. It makes you believe in yourself even more and gets you excited to make a change.”

The first day started with a speech from Porter Ellett. He lost the use of his right arm at a young age, yet he grew up playing baseball, basketball, golf, and running track. He gave a motivational and inspirational talk to students about overcoming obstacles.

The students then played team building games and had breakout sessions after lunch. The sessions taught the students important things to think about as they began their senior year and prepared to be leaders who would eventually move on to college.

The four sessions were: Positioning Yourself 4 Success, The 2 Most Important Days of Your Life, The Power of Positive Relationships, and 10 Tips for Financial Success.

“This conference was a great experience that taught me the values of hard work, teamwork, and determination,” one student said. “It was fun to learn more about my fellow classmates and the traits that they have.”

The second day was dedicated to community service. The students met at the high school and divided into two groups. One went to Wayside Elementary School and painted two classrooms. The other went to the Concern center to repackage bulk food for redistribution.

The students then listened to speaker Jordan Devey. Devey currently plays offensive line for the Kansas City Chiefs. He brought the Super Bowl ring he won while playing for the New England Patriots, letting the group hold it and take pictures with it and with him. Jordan did not play football in high school; he played the tuba in the marching band, saying the only time he got on the field was at halftime when he played with the band. After much hard work as a walk-on at a junior college, he finished his career at Memphis before joining the NFL as an undrafted free agent.

The students then had a chance to win over $2,500 worth of prizes, including two laptops, three Bose speakers, three Beats headphones, three Beats earbuds, an Amazon Echo, Cardinals game tickets, and more. Everyone walked away with prizes and memories of a great two days spent listening to motivational speakers, lessons, and doing service for their community.


One student said, “The conference was a great opportunity to learn leadership skills, reconnect with people from my class, and have fun!”

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