Area Seminole State College student Gavin Winchester of Prague, Okla. recently attended the Nigh Institute Leadership Academy held in Oklahoma City.
Winchester received a George and Donna Nigh Public Service Scholarship this year through the Nigh Institute program funded by the Oklahoma Legislature. During the leadership academy, students visited with members of the House of Representatives and the Senate and attended sessions concerning Oklahoma’s local government, government relations, the national election, public policy and Oklahoma’s economic future.
In addition, the group visiting Quail Creek Country Club, Paycom, Tinker Air Force Base, Express Ranch, Devon Tower, “The Oklahoman”, the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Offices.
The group also had the privilege of meeting many of Oklahoma’s leaders including Clay Bennet, owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder; Robert Funk, founder/CEO of Express Employment Professionals; Bobby Stem, President of the Association of Oklahoma General Contractors; Dan Boren, former Oklahoma State Congressman; and Vicki Miles LaGrange, the first African-American woman attorney for the western district of Oklahoma.
The theme of the leadership conference this year was “You Can Do It From Here.” Winchester explained that all of the influential leaders throughout the institute encouraged student participants that they can do anything from Oklahoma. “Each speaker at the Nigh Academy helped me gain confidence for my future. They stressed that not everyone has to be born into a rich and powerful family to be successful. Jim Thorpe was born in my hometown of Prague and became the world’s greatest athlete,” said Winchester.
Winchester is a 2016 Prague High School graduate. At SSC, he is a freshman member of the President’s Leadership Class and will be inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society on campus next week.
Winchester is the son of Heather Annis and Robert Winchester. He is the grandson of former long-time SSC math instructor Larry Vickers and his wife Rosella, and Jenny Pratka and Tom Winchester.