Academy Students Selected to Participate in the FBISD Student Leadership 101 Cohort

 Leadership Cohort
 Left: Anjali James Center: Alina Mawji Right: Jonathon Carey 

Every year the FBISD Board of Trustees selects three juniors from each high school campus to participate in the FBISD Student Leadership 101 Cohort. This year, selected students from Hightower High School were Digital Media Academy student Jonathan Carey and Medical Science Academy students Anjali James and Alina Mawji. The Cohort members sat down with Academy Coordinator, Shelby Nilsen, to talk about their experiences in the group. When asked how they learned about the program, Anjali and Alina stated that they knew one of the students who participated in the Cohort during the previous year, senior Medical Science Academy student Ebe Ewere. The girls asked Ebe about the programs and became interested in applying when the application was published. To ensure they knew when to apply, they researched the program on the FBISD website. Jonathan stated that his mother had heard about the program and mentioned it to him; after researching the opportunities and experiences he would gain from involvement in the program, he became very interested and soon began working on his application.
To apply for the program, students must submit an online application which includes an essay, teacher recommendations, and meet a specific a grade requirement. Students selected to the program were notified in November 2015 and had their first seminar that month. The FBISD Student Leadership 101 Cohort meets once a month; they either have a seminar or a field experience. The Academy students were asked to talk about what they have learned about themselves up to this point in the program. Anjali spoke about the Strength Finder, a Gallup assessment that helps to you discover your top five talents1. She found it interesting to learn about how each leader approaches a situation and how the different “talents” can work together to better the outcome. Her top talent was an achiever while Alina’s top talent was a learner/analytical. Alina’s favorite experience so far has been the Ropes course. Here she learned a great deal about communication, specifically how the different forms of communication can affect the goal of a team or organization. Jonathon’s most memorable experience was the tour of the juvenile detention center and Fort Bend County court rooms and the presentation by one of the prosecutors. From the attorney’s presentation he learned that it is okay to try different things, until you find your passion. The experiences you have will help you to be a better “you” and better at what you do
All three students are highly involved in campus life at Hightower High School.
  • Jonathon, a Digital Media Academy student, is also a member of the HHS band. In December he had the honor of performing at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also a member of the 2015-2016 Region Jazz Band made up of students from across Fort Bend ISD. To help build his skills in business, Jonathon joined the HHS chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and is looking forward to competition season. In his spare time he enjoys playing in the band at his church.
  • Anjali (MedSci Academy) is also a member of the HHS chapter of FBLA, as well as Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity. In addition, she recently joined the debate team. She volunteers at an assisted living community in Stafford, Texas and is part of a non-profit organization through her church that raises money to support the education of two students in India.
  • Alina (also MedSci Academy), like Jonathon and Anjali, is a member of FBLA as well as the Red Cross and the debate team. She has been on the debate team for several years and has placed at multiple competitions. Since the seventh grade she has played the viola and is a part of the HHS Orchestra. In her spare time she volunteers at her mosque where she is now a student leader and is part of I-CERVE (Ismaili Community Involved in Responsible Volunteering), an organization in which group members volunteer together at various community centers and the Houston Food Bank. 
All three students have enjoyed their time in the Cohort and are looking forward to exciting experiences throughout the course of the spring semester. To learn more about the FBISD Student Leadership 101 Program, visit the FBISD Board of Trustees page. You can also read the recently published FBISD news articles by clicking on the links below.
1.    Strengths Dashboard. (n.d.). Retrieved January 27, 2016, from