Our School Spirit Lasts An Eternity

From Capital Hill to UCLA: SCA Sophomore Spends Summer Studying Coast to Coast

SCA Sophomore Andrew Hartzler at People to People Leadership Summit at UCLA

SCA Sophomore Andrew Hartzler at People-to-People Leadership in Action Summit at UCLA


From Capital Hill to UCLA:

SCA Sophomore Spends Summer Studying Coast to Coast


(Lee’s Summit) – While most high school students spend time in the summer hanging out with friends, swimming, and working at their summer job. Summit Christian Academy (SCA) sophomore Andrew Hartzler spent the summer learning how to be a good leader both in California and on Capital Hill. Andrew is no stranger to the political scene in Washington, D.C. For the past three summers, he has spent time in D.C. learning up-close how bills are written and eventually become laws, and experiencing the day-to-day happenings on Capital Hill. Andrew shadowed Missouri’s 4th Congressional District Representative Vicky Hartzler.


This summer Andrew also headed west to the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) for the People-to-People Leadership in Action Summit. The focus of the program is to help prepare students in grades 6 through 12 to be young leaders who engage as global citizens with a desire to serve and lead with excellence. The culmination of these two experiences helped Andrew discover that effecting change, whether as a high school student or a public servant, demands leadership, collaborating with others, intentional discussion and planning, and an other-than-self attitude and focus.


“I was inspired at People-to-People to think about how I can serve my local community,” shared Andrew. “The experience was more like a personal challenge to think about meeting the needs of those around me who need help and thinking critically about how I might carry out my idea. Being a good leader is a skill that can be developed and at the age of 16, I can make a difference now and not just later during adulthood.”


One of the most impactful experiences Andrew had during the leadership summit at UCLA was to complete a physical challenge activity that moved him outside of his comfort zone. He and the other Leadership Ambassadors were asked to climb a telephone pole several feet in the air, and while tethered to a harness, jump off the pole and grab a set of handlebars located about two feet away. Many opted not to even attempt the challenge.


“It was scary, but I was able to do it. You never know what you are able to do. But if you are willing to try you can learn something about yourself. It’s like if you live a little, you grow a little,” commented Andrew.


Risk-taking is often one of the first characteristics of developing a leader. Andrew recognized his own willingness to take a risk with the physical challenge and he observed the “risk-taking” actions of young men and women who were honored at a banquet he attended with Representative Hartzler in D.C.


“Congresswoman Hartzler was invited to a special Army Tattoo Ceremony where young people signed commitments to join the Army. Seeing those young people take a stand to defend our country made me think about the courage that action required,” said Andrew. “During the ceremony we watched re-enactments of previous wars fought on American soil, and again, it’s clear that it takes courage to be a soldier, and soldiers are leaders,” Andrew added.


Andrew is working on an idea to serve others that will require leadership, working with a team of helpers, lots of planning and discussion, and an other-than-self attitude and focus.


“I know that I have to do something for other people, and now I know that I can do something that will make a difference,” Andrew said.