CCI Students Teach Leadership Skills to Middle and High School Students

TSA opening ceremonyFrom October 19th to 22nd, seven STARS students traveled to Orlando to lead, present and mentor in the Annual Fall Technology Student Association (TSA) Leadership Training Conference.  The mission of TSA is to prepare its members for the challenges of a dynamic world by promoting technological literacy, leadership and problem-solving.  STARS (Students & Technology in Academia, Research & Service) Alliance is a National Science Foundation funded program to increase the participation of women, under-represented minorities, and persons with disabilities in IT/computing disciplines through multi-faceted interventions (

Over 250,000 students from around the nation participate in TSA, working on leadership and technical skills, and competing in over 70 events from Biotechnology to Dragster Design to Drones. TSA students are 100% likely to graduate from high school, with high female and minority representation, the Florida group is nearing 50,000 middle and high school students. TSA members learn problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking, and leadership skills as they relate to design, communications, power, energy, transportation, engineering, manufacturing, construction, and biotechnology.

TSA Trip Presentation
Olivia Kennedy and Emma Roberts presenting on Marketing Your TSA Group.

“I loved getting to see the creative ideas the middle and high schoolers had about fundraising, recruitment, and social media for their TSA chapter,” says STARS member Emma Roberts. “Many of the ideas Olivia and I presented in our Branding Your TSA Chapter presentation chapters had already been implemented. I hope that our presentation helps grow the TSA chapters even more, garnering them the support they need to go to events like States and Nationals!”

Associate Dean at FSU’s College of Communication & Information, Ebe Randeree has served on the TSA Board since 2008. According to Randeree, “FSU has a STRONG presence at TSA since 2007 working with technology teachers across the state and interacting with students and parents; our students that help at the conference engage in developing the next generation of tech leaders, mentoring middle and high school and giving back to the community.” FSU students work with teams of 12-15 students each from various Florida schools to build leadership skills, improve communication, and lead their group to compete in a skills tournament.  Randeree presented to new teachers at the Advisor workshop about “Working with Educational Partners/Universities” and “Branding your TSA Chapter/Tech Efforts”.

TSA Presentation
Efner Pierre and Jennifer Sterling presenting on Time Management Techniques.

“It was so rewarding to be able to work with the kids on their leadership and problem-solving skills and see them improve and grow in their teams throughout the conference,” says STARS member Olivia Kennedy. “It was very visible how passionate each of them was about their chapters, which was amazing to see.”

STARS member, Efner Pierre, said that “After the TSA Leadership Conference, I was left speechless. The students I met showed their creativity and intellect in every aspect. I enjoyed each and everyone of them, and they have left me to realize that learning still continues to grow outside the classroom.”

While at the conference, FSU students presented topics for the attendees on:

Effective Communication Techniques

Leadership 101

Time Management Techniques

Marketing Your TSA Group

TSA Group PictureThe FSU students that participated were:

Olivia Kennedy

Maggie Martin-McKinnie

Efner Pierre

Emma Roberts

Lauren Scala

Jennifer Sterling

Khylle Valle


 Alumni dinner STARS tripWhile in Orlando, the students also hosted alumni from CCI to talk about jobs, internships and industry opportunities; alumni that attended were Christian Pughe, Danielle Cuccaro, Emily Logan and Westen Dorweiler.