SHA institute is expanding

Lauren Hitron, left, director of the Jean Frazier Leadership Institute, and Lauren Coffey, program manager, stood on the Ursuline campus July 21. The institute was created in 2017 to ensure the success of one of Sacred Heart Schools’ core values: enhancing a leadership culture. (Record Photo by Ruby Thomas)

Sacred Heart Schools’ Jean Frazier Leadership Institute is expanding its student internship program and staff.

The institute’s mission is to “empower students, faculty, and staff to discover leadership within themselves and give them the courage to share it with the world,” said Lauren Hitron, who serves as its director.

Lauren Coffey has been named program manager of the institute, a newly created role. Coffey — whose background is in career development and experiential learning — will work with Sacred Heart Academy students on their development as leaders, primarily through the institute’s internship program. 

The Charles Kane Family Internship Program provides summer internship opportunities for Sacred Heart students locally and nationwide. Starting this fall, internship opportunities will also be available on campus during the school year.

“I’m really thrilled about the expansion. I’m very appreciative of the Kane family” in seeing the value “in students having that experience during the school year,” said Coffey. “I’m excited about the internship framework because it holds them accountable for contributing in a meaningful way and making an impact.” 

Hitron said the institute is also partnering with House of Shine, a non-profit interactive museum based in Grapevine, Texas, to enhance the self-awareness curriculum. House of Shine’s mission is to “grow confident and self-aware leaders” capable of making “meaningful contributions in their corner of the world,” according to the nonprofit’s website. 

Hitron noted that one of Sacred Heart Schools’ core values is “enhancing a leadership culture.” The institute was founded in 2017 as the schools were “taking a closer look to see if we were living up to that value.” Since then, the institute has offered every student the opportunity to take on leadership roles, she said. 

  • Sacred Heart Academy students in their junior and senior years take part in the internship program. Freshmen are introduced to leadership through a social-emotional learning curriculum focused on teaching them how to be successful as students. The sophomore year builds on this by teaching students how to lead in their own lives. Students design and produce a service or product while reflecting on the process.
  • Sophomores through seniors at SHA are eligible for the Frazier Fellows Leadership certificate program, which is a “deep-dive” into understanding leadership, said Hitron. Students who participate earn a special distinction on their transcript.
  • Sacred Heart Model School junior high students are mentored by SHA students. Junior high students also take part in a community project that puts them in touch with a service organization.
  • Model school sixth-graders, take part in an ambassador program. After having been trained, they create lesson plans and teaching materials aimed at helping students in kindergarten through fifth grade become ambassadors in their classrooms. These elementary school students are then ready to welcome visitors and explain what’s occurring in their classes.
Ruby Thomas
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Ruby Thomas
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