Mar 07, 2022

College of the Ozarks sends students to participate in Missouri Governor’s Student Leadership Forum

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — Four students represented College of the Ozarks at the 37th Annual Missouri Governor’s Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values held Feb. 25-27, 2022, in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Students Grace Wright, Mucyo Bangerazako, Michael Maust, and Garett Pierce were selected to attend the weekend event. The central focus of the forum was the study of Jesus of Nazareth as a model of servant leadership. Students learn about how to reconcile relationships, stand for truth, and love others as they love themselves. The forum’s guiding principle is teaching students to embrace altruism rather than egotism.

Students heard from several speakers, including Becca Chapman, Director of Women’s Philanthropy at Wheeler Mission, the largest rescue mission and homeless shelter in the state of Indiana; Taisir Yanis, owner of Yanis Coffee Shop in Jefferson City, Mo.; Scott Crosley, an Airborne Ranger, Army Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel, and CEO of PIVOT, a national anti-sex trafficking agency; and William Bumphus, director of Men’s Emergency Shelter.

“My biggest takeaway was watching influential people put servant leadership into practice,” said mathematics major Grace Wright. “On Saturday, we went into the Jefferson City Correctional Center, where we met leaders who showed their heart for serving the offenders at the JCCC. To me, it was an eye-opening experience to see how the employees at the JCCC treat the offenders with respect, give them leadership opportunities, and value them.”

Students ended the weekend with a morning at the Capitol, touring the House Lounge and hearing from Bob Priddy, retired News Director of Missourinet; and visiting the House Floor, led by Missouri State Representative Travis Fitzwater. They also visited the Governor’s office and concluded with a meet and greet and message from Governor Mike Parson.

The program began in 1986 under the leadership of former Missouri Governor and 79th U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

More on National Student Leadership Forum

Founded in 1990 by Members of Congress, the NSLF offers forum programs in thirteen different states which promote servant leadership through keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and service projects.

The NSLF also hosts the Congressional Fellows Program, allowing 25-40 undergraduate students to take part in a two-month internship program in Washington D.C.

For more information on the Missouri Governor’s Student Leadership Forum, visit