Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016
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UT initiative aims to teach local high school students 'swagger'

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John Henry Livingston displays his 'Swagger Got It' shirt as he talks about the Leadership with Swagger initiative during a news conference at the University of Toledo.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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The University of Toledo wants local high school students to get their swagger on.

The initiative combines marketing the university while inspiring local students to make good decisions and gain self-confidence. Local motivational speaker John Henry Livingston is working with the university on a Leadership with Swagger campaign, details of which were discussed today at a news conference at the university.

Mr. Livingston runs leadership programs at 10 to 15 middle school and high schools in which he helps students identify risk factors, values, strengths, role models, and how to determine goals.

Meanwhile, Lawrence Burns, the university’s vice president for external affairs, taught a fall 2012 public relations class in which University of Toledo communications majors came up with marketing campaigns for the university based on the swagger concept.

The winning student campaign defined swag as “study, work, achieve, graduate” and elements of the campaign will be used by the university to target direct-from-high-school students.

Students participating in the leadership programs led by Mr. Livingston at area high schools will attend an April 30 “leaders and achievers” event at the university. The leadership conference will be the culmination of the various swagger-related efforts, and include a roundtable discussion with local business leaders.

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