Ways that Community Leaders Impact High School Students

High school is a time for teenagers to learn, both from within textbooks and by relations with other people. Many students are still trying to figure out their sense of self. They may feel pressure to fit into peer groups and also to get good grades to pursue post-secondary education. High school students can be positively impacted by community leaders both directly and indirectly.

Community leaders include politicians, businesses, and volunteer organizers. The leaders play a prominent social or political role in the community.


A community leader can motivate a high school student. If the two people have direct communication, the leader may become a mentor to the student. The student sees the power of the individual within the leader’s actions and the effect of actions on the betterment of the community. Feelings of hope rise within the student and goals may be formed that relate to the mentor’s activities.

Work Ethic

Whether a one-on-one mentoring relationship or a high school student watching a community leader from afar, the leader’s actions can influence the student. The student, as a teenager, is likely dealing with identity issues and learning the processes of the world. By observing the leader in action, the student studies ways to behave in work situations.

Work ethic is learned from the community leader. Values, learned for the workplace, include punctuality and giving ones all to the task at hand. The community leader epitomizes these values and is an admired person in the community; the high school student may model his or her own behavior according to the leader’s strengths.

New Interests

Community leaders are also influential as they may introduce high school students to new areas of interest. Leaders are prominent people in the community, so they may have a high likelihood of being noticed by students. When leaders speak at conferences, for example, the presentations may be before groups of students or aired on media such as televisions and radios. Students see or hear the leaders and the subject matter being spoken may be new.

Imagine a political leader who gives a presentation to a high school class. The students learn about elections and public speaking. One student wants to learn more and joins the school’s debate club to practice speeches like those given by politicians. The community leader has positively influenced the student to learn more about the political arena.

The Path

High school students can also learn from community leaders how to get to the point the leader has reached in terms of social or political success. A high school student who wishes to reach a similar point can conduct an informational interview with the leader to ask questions about the related field. The student learns what education is needed to become involved in the area of interest. Questions to ask include what attributes are important in a leader of his or her position, and what steps are recommended to take the student to a similar realm.

High school students can be positively influenced by community leaders in a variety of ways. Community leaders can both motivate and teach students about particular areas of communities or about work ethic in general. A high school student looking for a mentor would be wise to choose a community leader in an area of interest.