Making Connections

Two members of the Manvel High Academic UIL Current Events team attended Global Challenges in 2016: A Conversation with General David Petraeus, through the World Affairs Council of Houston, on Feb. 12.

The students, juniors Michah Harrison and Marche Matthews-Noel, attended the event with their current event team sponsor, Lisa Staup. The students listened to Petraeus lecture about his military career, and then were also selected to meet with him individually. They learned about Petraeus’ time as head of CIA. Petraeus is credited for changing the course of the two wars, both Iraq and Afghanistan, and shaping military doctrine during his years of service. Following his military career, he led the CIA, overseeing America’s global counterterrorism campaign and the establishment of a new Economic Security Center.

“I believe that it is important for my current events UIL team to not only be able to understand what is going on in the news, but to also be able to connect the happenings they read about to larger more important global and domestic issues and to understand the politics surrounding those events, “ Staup said. “ I have chosen a small group of students that have a love of the social studies and try to give them opportunities that may not be available to everyone, such as meeting General Petraeus.”

The students were very excited to hear that they had also been selected in advance to sit and talk to Patraeus.

“We were accepted into a private conference with the General, based on the quality of our questions regarding advice and life lessons he could give for student leaders,” Harrison said.

Matthews-Noel said her experience was very valuable.

“His advice was unique and educational,” she said. “He was the type of man everyone wants to be: respectful, intelligent and confident.”

Before meeting Petraeus, the current events team has also participated in other events through the World Affairs Council of Houston. They have also attended a Young Leaders Forum on “A Rational Middle Energy” and were able to meet director Gregory Kallenberg and discuss and preview his film.  Students also attended the “Free to Rock” film preview and heard Nicholas Binkley discuss what drove him to make his film.

“These opportunities help bring current events alive for these students and help them network and establish relationships that can help them as they look to their future careers and set them on a global path in whatever they do,” Staup said.


Story By: Jessica Tompkins

Courtesy Photos

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