Leadership Summit held at Clear Creek Amana High School

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TIFFIN, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- About 200 future leaders eagerly listened to inspirational messages in the Clear Creek Amana High School Auditorium on Wednesday. The group's goal is to learn how to apply these lessons to their own lives.

"I've always wanted people to look up to me or come to me when they need help,” Junior Quentin Gisleson said.

Former Simpson College National Wrestling Champion Nick Ackerman gave one of the fan-favorite speeches. He encourages students to work hard, believe in themselves and surround themselves with good people.

Students said it was a powerful message, as the wrestling star took off his prosthetic legs.

Ackerman wanted to prove to students that they can also overcome any obstacles. Ackerman says he became a successful athlete through his determination and leadership skills.

"You just have to do the right thing, every time, and figure out what that is,” Ackerman said.

Wednesday was the first ever leadership summit at CCA. Students had to write an essay about why they wanted to become a leader to be part of this program. The program is open for students in 7th through 12th grades.

"We're just learning how to create a better culture here and how to be a leader,” Sophomore Karsyn Straton said.

The district created this summit to shift mindsets.

"A lot of kids were afraid to try and go out there and be successful,” Sixth grade teacher Jackson Litterer said.

Educators here believe mentoring these young leaders will inspire other students. And therefore may lead to better decision-making skills.

"I think always trying to be a leader will keep you from making bad decision. You know if you slip up one time then you aren't seen as a leader anymore,” Gisleson said.