Author John Maxwell says true leadership’s greatest calling is “building leadership in the next generation.”

Wendy Higgins is doing her part to cultivate future leadership locally. Not only is she a City Councilor and general manager of Ocean Lodge, she also mentors two Seaside High School students.

Seniors Janet Velazuez, of Cannon Beach, and Angel Arciga, of Seaside, are completing their Pacifica projects, a requirement they must fulfill to graduate.

Along the way, the students have learned that there are no limits to personal growth.

The mentoring program uses Maxwell’s book, “15 Laws of Growth.”

Higgins has the girls read the book and meets with them each week to discuss what they have learned.

She said she has been amazed by their development and personal growth over the course of the project.

“At each session, I ask them what they did to add value to someone else,” Higgins said. “The responses really blow me away.”

Arciga, who is part of the Seaside High School culinary team, demonstrated her willingness for preparation.

“Angel described her routine to come in early and clean and pack for the team’s recent trip to Baltimore,” the site of a national culinary competition, Higgins said. “That showed real responsibility.”

Velazuez showed that leadership by example is a quality she nurtures, according to Higgins.

“Janet went on a trip to visit colleges with some students and school staff,” Higgins said. “She reminded students who were misbehaving to respect the teachers and other students’ time.”

The culmination of the girls’ senior project is helping Higgins organize and execute the Chick-fil-a Leadercast 2013 in Seaside on May 10 at the North Coast Family Fellowship.

The event is a broadcast of speakers, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Duke University basketball Coach Mike Krzyewski. They challenge attendees to be the best leaders possible.

As part of their project, Velazuez and Arciga will help with different aspects of staging the event: promotion, set-up and breakdown and giving their own PowerPoint presentation to the audience.

While the project is a requirement for the students to graduate, Higgins thinks what they take away is far more valuable.

“Leadership does matter, and it starts with each of us,” she said. “The girls learn how to leave their community a better place, and there is nothing holding them back.”

To learn about the “Leadercast” email Higgins at or call 503-440-1995.


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