Meet our Mentors: Kristy and Brian Baxter

February 7, 2024  •  Author: marketing

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” – President John Quincy Adams

Teaching Leadership

Can leadership be taught? Can anyone become a leader, or is it simply a natural gift? Author Lisa Cash Hanson argues that:

Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.

Young Adults and Leadership

Research now shows that many young adults feel either insecure or unready when it comes to leading a group of people. Cumorah Academy’s mission is to prepare the next generation to become leaders wherever they may be – in the family, community, or business. Our mentors – Kristy and Brian Baxter – have joined us on this mission.

Meet the Baxters

Coming from Alpine, Utah, this is the second time the Baxters have joined Cumorah as a couple mentor. Brian received an Associate of Arts degree from Long Beach City College, a Bachelor’s degree in History from Brigham Young University, and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Utah. He spent the majority of his career in Human Resource leadership roles, which took him to 39 different countries while working in multiple industries.

Kristy attended multiple universities in Utah until it came time to raise their children. She has been a stay-at-home mother while functioning as the family’s Chief Financial Officer. What they do love is spending time with their four children and seven grandchildren. The Baxters came to the Czech Republic again because they believed in the program and the potential of young adults. Their goal here on campus is twofold: to teach leadership classes and inspire students. Among other things, they focused on Accountability and Positive Leadership.

Accountability and Positive Leadership

Accountability has been defined as:

“The fact of being responsible for your decisions or actions” (Oxford). Brian strongly believes that it is a crucial principle that all individuals should stick to. Students reacted positively to what was taught.

In class, they discussed how to keep organizations motivated for the same purpose and grow together. “The Baxter couple was very inspiring; they helped me understand the importance of being a leader who encourages creating an environment and culture that brings strong benefits to achieve goals,” says Guilherme, a student from Brazil. 

This principle led to other classes focusing on impacting positively on your co-workers and colleagues can lead to success. In fact, when it comes to “Leadership,” people are mostly drawn to an inspirational figure with the talent to motivate others without being too harsh or rude. Such is the goal of most leadership students – to become someone who inspires others and brings them to a unique vision. A student from Nicaragua, Ellieth, felt inspired by how the Baxters inspired him to be a better leader and person:

“They helped me understand the importance of being a leader who encourages creating an environment and culture that brings strong benefits to achieve goals.”

Kristy and Brian made sure all students felt loved and appreciated in all classes.

An Environment of Growth

Brian believes that a growth mindset in an organization is vital for its success. “When one has success, all have success, and when one commits a mistake, we won’t criticize. We’ll stand together and set goals to improve ourselves.” This statement summarizes what Cumorah Academy stands for. We bring together students from different countries eager to learn more and gain life-changing experiences. Students spend a huge amount of time in classrooms, and how they approach learning and inspiration will affect their experiences throughout the semester. After all, we hope they learn how to help each other to progress while attaining their own goals. 

The Baxters were living what they were teaching. Christina, our dear student from Italy, shared how she felt in the presence of Brian and Kristy:

“I felt loved, and important, and listened to them; everything I had to say was important to them.” Anyone can develop leadership skills. 

Above all, we hope our students always have an inquisitive mind and open hearts so they can become better versions of themselves. We and our beloved students are forever grateful for the time the Baxters spent with us this semester. Certainly, the impact that they had on us will last a lifetime.

Click here to read more about our mentors, events, and more.

Their words about their experience:

Written by Fernando Ferreira Jr. Supports by Delton Sambo.

Supervision: Kamila Umberto Fullmer.