Summit Insights: The Benefits of Independence

Alumni parents, leaders, and students talk building independence through travel.

ambassador leaders insights.jpg

One of the most common questions prospective parents ask us is what benefits they can expect to see from their student’s participation in an Ambassador Leadership Summit. It’s a fair question, and one we sought out alumni parents, students, and teacher leaders to help us answer.

Our Summit Insights series will offer families considering enrollment a firsthand look at some of the key benefits of attending a Summit as told by the people who’ve experienced it.


Independence and autonomy are key skills for student leaders to achieve. As one alumni parent Taryn G. describes it, the Summit gives students a chance to become more “whole human beings” by experiencing a range of cultures and interactions they may not have access to in everyday life. Watch the video below to hear more of Taryn’s thoughts.

Research suggests that one of the benefits that independent children experience is the ability to handle instances of stress and failure, both normal parts of adult life. Ms. Abby, one of our teacher leaders, explains how students learn to successfully cope with the challenges they face while at the Summit. We believe one of the reasons many of our students forge lasting relationships in the short time they are together is the shared experience of learning to problem-solve as they each develop their sense of independence. Hear more from Abby below.

Of course, keen independence comes with a host of other fringe benefits, namely improved responsibility. Think of it as the arithmetic of leadership: independence increases self-reliance, and self-reliance boosts responsibility. While at the Summit, student leaders are responsible for many things including navigating the campus environment, their timeliness, and their group presentations. Our alumni student Kyle describes bringing it all home with him to create “permanent habits” and how people took notice. Listen to what he has to say.

Check back next week for the second installment of Summit Insights, when we’ll delve into another benefit of attending a summit: the college experience.

Corie Headshot.jpg

By Corie Bales

Corie is the Academic Affairs Manager of Ambassador Leaders. As a lifelong educator and avid traveler, she believes in empowering students and teachers to learn and lead through experiential education.