YES! People tend to be surprised if they discover one or more leaders in their community are current or former homeschool students. A common assumption is that homeschooled kids have so little exposure or involvement in the outside world that they cannot possibly learn to be a part of the culture, much less a leader in it. While there may be a few homeschoolers here and there that have problems adapting to the world outside their homes, for the vast majority this is not the case.
Below here are a few areas where home educated students undeniably have an advantage, so as to disprove anyone who would claim there are none. While homeschooling is not for everyone, and even within families there can be variation as to which method works best, it is the best option for many and is often not considered simply due to negative portrayal in the media or a few failure stories that have become widely circulated.
Homeschooling offers the unique opportunity for both parent and student to edit &/or supplement what the student is learning to best fit the students learning style and later on the career they plan to pursue. People who want to do engineering will bulk up on math and science, and for some inventing will be part of their schoolwork; in the same way, those who plan on going into music might spend barely an hour on science and math combined, then spend two hours practicing an instrument.
Because little or no time is spent on waiting for other students or the bell to ring, there's more time and brainpower for learning things outside of school. This could mean picking up an instrument, learning to sew or knit, drawing, reading, writing, etc. For some this can mean finding a job doing things like yard work or babysitting. Sometimes it just means getting better at life skills like cooking. Whatever we use it for, there is more free space.
Studies have found that children who are home educated are more likely to play with other kids regardless of age, gender, or social status. In my experience, we also have an easier time having functional, well-communicated relationships with adults as we grow older. Not all public schooled kids have problems communicating well with adults, and it seems to be shrinking; however, it is a less common problem among the homeschool population.
While (being a homeschooler myself) I admit it makes holding the title of Class President much less impressive, being a class of one definitely has its perks!
At the end of the day, there's an exception to every rule. There will always be those few homeschooled students who really are the hyper-critical hermits; there will always be those few kids in school who fail half their classes. Those are rare, and the entire group shouldn't be judged by the few.
There is no perfect solution for young leaders or their parents. Some will do well in public school, and that's great. Some do well in private school, also great. And some do well in homeschool. Don’t completely disregard one option for your kid just because someone else did poorly in the same system; both deserve considering as valid options. If more parents would just sit down and take a look at homeschooling, laying aside all of the biases and “you’ll be back next year worse than you left” comments (yes people say that), there would at least be a better understanding and respect for the way it can be and is done.
Disclaimer: I want you to know; my point here is not to disrespect the public school system. I know some people who have done marvelously in and through it, and for some it is the best option. My point is that it isn't best for everyone, and homeschooling is a more valid option than it is often given credit for. Especially when it comes to raising up young leaders.