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A student with great potential

Military kid, Reduque, selected for exclusive leadership program

Steilacoom student Jiemyjoyce Reduque, (front row, third from right), is one of only 14 high school students nationwide selected to participate in the Frances Hesselbein Student Leadership Program at West Point. Photo credit: Remyjoyce Reduque

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Vince Lombardi famously said "Leaders are made, they are not born." With all due respect to the late, legendary NFL coach, some leaders are born, some leaders are made, and Jiemyjoyce Reduque suggests that some leaders are born and made.

Jiemyjoyce Reduque - a junior at Steilacoom High School and the daughter of Staff Sgt. Benjamin Reduque (ret.) - was one of just 14 students chosen to attend the Frances Hesselbein Student Leadership Program (FHSLP) at the United States Military Academy at West Point last month. Jiemyjoyce distinguished herself from hundreds of worthy candidates nationwide based on her volunteer and work experience, extracurricular activities, leadership potential, and commitment to the Student 2 Student program (S2S).

The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) works to ensure quality educational opportunities for the children of military personnel. S2S - a subdivision of MCEC - is a student-led organization dedicated to creating a positive environment for incoming and outgoing students transitioning into new schools. It's just one part of Reduque's philanthropic portfolio, which includes other community service efforts in the Steilacoom and DuPont areas, but it's her involvement with S2S that drew the attention of the FHSLP.

Since 2006, the FHSLP looks for students in the S2S program who distinguish themselves with stellar leadership potential; those most likely to help the S2S program continue to prosper and grow. Eligible high school sophomores and juniors apply to attend weeklong events during fall and spring terms where Academy faculty and cadets help them build character and hone their skills. The students can then share what they've learned with fellow students at their own campuses.

After turning a spry 101 years old Nov. 1, founder Frances Hesselbein remains actively involved in the program's operations, and when a leader with a century of life experience says you have leadership potential, it's not just high praise, it's a fact. Reduque cited meeting her as the high point of her trip.

"The part I've enjoyed the most was meeting Frances Hesselbein herself. She is an amazing and brilliant woman. (...) She is living a good life with so much she has accomplished. Her wisdom and quick witted responses are marvelous," Reduque said.

Initially established in 1990 as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute works to facilitate collaboration between nonprofit organizations in the public, private and social sectors. By building relationships and sharing resources, participants enjoy a higher level of mutual growth and prosperity. MCEC and its S2S program provides a steady crop of promising leaders like Reduque to ensure a prosperous future for these organizations and the communities they serve.

When asked if she had any advice for her fellow students, the future leader offered the following:

"Your future is bright, so make the most out of it. (...) Learning is a chain reaction, you just have to be the fire to start it. (...) Be true to yourself and never compromise your values."

Good advice from a promising young lady whose future shines very brightly indeed.

The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC):

The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute:

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