We invite Arkansas college student leaders from diverse backgrounds to join us for three days in Little Rock. Students are nominated by campus administrators and other representatives in the community, and they must complete an application to be considered for acceptance. We offer speakers who are committed servant leaders in a variety of disciplines in our community, panel discussions providing interaction between students and panelists, small group sessions with trained facilitators, service projects with key nonprofits in the community—all with good food and plenty of fun in the mix.
Every year, ASLF hosts students from universities and colleges across the state including:
We keep the forum size small, allowing time and space to get to know other campus leaders across the state, and we aim to nurture leaders who understand the value of reconciling relationships, standing up for truth, loving God, and loving their neighbor as themselves. We wish to inspire the leaders of tomorrow to pursue a life in leadership with both passion and perspective.
Our hope is to study the servant leadership model of Jesus and learn how to live it out. The Arkansas Student Leadership Forum provides an opportunity for leaders on college campuses to examine the life of Jesus from a different perspective. Jesus is often viewed strictly as a religious figure, but there are a host of leadership principles that can be gleaned from his life and teachings. We believe that if these principles are embraced and implemented, our college campuses will be changed, and the ripple effect will be felt in our communities and throughout the state. Some of the principles we will examine include humility, integrity, reconciliation, forgiveness, commitment to a small band of friends, and loving others as ourselves.
The future of a nation depends upon the character and values of its future leaders. Historically, leaders throughout every culture have sought to invest in young people. The State of Arkansas is no exception.
In 1951, members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives hosted the first annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Guests included the President of the United States as well as political, religious, and business leaders from around the world. These diverse individuals gathered in the spirit of Jesus to pray for the nations of the world, their leaders, and their people. They also built friendships on a more meaningful level. As the event evolved, students were invited to blend into this diverse group of world citizens to observe, engage, and thoughtfully consider how these leaders pursue friendship and reconciliation, often across cultural boundaries. As students were inspired by the National Prayer Breakfast, a desire arose to create a similar event for college students. This desire developed in to the National Student Leadership Forum.
In 1990, several Congressional leaders started the first annual National Student Leadership Forum with the vision of encouraging, challenging and inspiring this select group of young leaders. Then Vice-President Quayle, U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), U.S. Representative Jim Slattery (D-KS) and then Missouri Governor John Ashcroft convened a group of university student leaders who were politically, culturally and religiously diverse. They gathered around the study of Jesus’ leadership model. The inaugural national gathering in 1990 marked the culmination of many smaller events that occurred over twenty years on various campuses throughout the country. The national forum served as a catalyst for many state forums, which helped develop a core of students whose relationships were cemented in shared experiences.
Today the dream lives on and continues to encourage the leaders of tomorrow toward growth and maturity. Student Leadership is a growing vision that now includes state and regional forums, a nine-month post graduate internship, and the Congressional Fellows internship program for college students in Washington D.C.