Some middle school and high school students participate in student government to practice their leadership skills. Top student athletes hold leadership positions, such as captain or co-captain of their team, and other students serve as president or vice president of student organizations, such as academic or social clubs. Student leadership helps preteens and teenagers learn how to plan events, organize their time, hone their public speaking skills and lead others. Leadership roles help equip students to manage team projects in high school, college and eventually the workplace.

Gives Students a Voice

Student leadership provides a way for students to express school-related ideas, goals and desires in productive, constructive ways. For example, student council members often approach faculty and staff with requests -- say, for better food in the vending machines or cell phone privileges between classes. Student representatives link students and administrators, ensuring that the students' voices aren't ignored or dismissed, according to the National Association of Student Councils. Student leaders learn how to interact with adults in nonthreatening environments while developing their interpersonal skills -- communication, negotiation and teamwork.

Builds Healthy Self-Identity

Leadership roles help students develop organizational skills. They learn to plan, raise money, organize their time and budget their resources. For example, student council members often plan after-school events, such as prom and pep rallies, and team captains organize drills and practices. Student leadership promotes responsibility, organization, timeliness and preparation -- skills that build and encourage a strong self-identity and confidence. Students learn that organization, hard work and dedication pay off, and their accomplishments have lasting rewards.

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Encourages Service Opportunities

Student leaders learn the importance of service and contributing to the community. They host fundraisers, support outreach programs, volunteer at nonprofit organizations and invest in philanthropic opportunities -- soup kitchens, animal shelters and clothing drives, for example. They learn how to promote events, advertise outreach opportunities and motivate their peers to participate in the activities as well. Student leaders use these skills to encourage diversity and social awareness in middle school and high school, but their experiences and unselfish perspectives often extend into college and the workplace.

Looks Good on College Applications

Involvement in student leadership looks good on college applications. Admissions counselors favor students who served in student government, maintained long-term leadership roles, volunteered for service projects and kept their grades up while participating in extracurricular activities, according to the College Board. Student leadership roles prove that the student cares enough about her interests and her community to get involved and help others. It suggests a high level of motivation that could continue at the college level.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.