Boys' leadership program has a new sister

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Lamar Elementary School in Wichita Falls expanded a program that proves leader come in all shapes, sizes, and genders.

The school's 'Boys with Purpose' program will now have a sister program.

Xyanna Marque, fifth-grader, is one of two dozen girls in the program learning to motivate others in the 'Ladies with Leadership' program.

"Everybody is just helping when the teachers need help," Xyanna said.

The girls' program was inspired by the Boys with Purpose and it was expanded to include girls this school year.

To get in the program the students are nominated by a teacher or parent to join the group if approved they then create a contract to follow.

The contract is what the students believe defines a great leader.

"It's not only touching what is going on in the school but actually at their home and their community," Robert Maxwell third-grade teacher said.

Both the girls and the boys in the program are learning to conquer obstacles in their path.

"My biggest fear would be that I have to speak in front of people," Cyriss Knight, fourth-grader and member of Boys with Purpose, said.

They are working on that fear by giving a presentation in front of their peers.

The boys gave their presentation last week and the girls are getting ready for theirs.

"They're doing some research about different ladies, past or present, that are real leaders, real role models in the community or in our country," Stevie Hoskins Special Education teacher said.

Xyanna is doing her presentation about one of the most women she's heard of, Helen Keller.

She said she learned to help everyone by researching Keller.

"Through all the hard stuff, she had a bit of a temper, but she got through that," Xyanna said.

She also said she has improved her grades. It is more than leadership skills because they also teach them to show respect.

Teachers said the parents rave about the children helping with chores at the house since starting the program.

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