To be asked the questions to select a leader, many different people go through my mind, but not on the big scale of national or state level. For that I had to think. I wanted to select someone who really has inspired me in my life. I though of Oprah Winfery, I remember coming home from school and sitting at my grandparents kitchen table and watching Oprah with. All I could ever think was “Dang, how does she have all this money and not want to spend it on toys”, “she just gives it away.” That she did, every show, event, appearance, she tried to extend her hand whether it be money service or advice. She does it all to help others in need. To me, that is a characteristic of a good leader. The ability to be selfless. She understood her strengths and put it towards her passion: helping others. At the ripe young age of an elementary kid I didn’t understand. A women like that who holds their past in her heart and let it in turn make her more humble and driven. She used something that could destroy her as something to motivate, and to inspire her. Her doing so inspired not just the African American population, but men and women from all ages and backgrounds. She inspires everyone by making her leadership qualities desirable. Qualities that everyone wants to have. Showing everyone the difference you can make by lending a helping hand, and giving back. The qualities of her leadership I admire the most is her emotional intelligence, relatability, humanist efforts, and her unwavering inspiration. Like everyone else Oprah Winfery has made her leadership qualities desirable for me to strive to obtain. She is a strong women leader to model my ideal leadership style on.
The past year has filled with so many new beginnings of life chapters and ends to others. It’s been a time of my life I will never forget. As much as I could talk about my past year of 2014. I want to look forward at the future. 2015 I have decided to set goals rather than resolutions. To have things I want to strive for through this next year. This point of my life I am currently in the best shape of my life. My goal is to maintain my health. Along with running in 5K’s, eating healthy, and continuing my cardio and strength building to up my current health. Coinciding with staying in shape, I want to start checking things off my bucket list. Like making the dean list both semesters of my freshman year, and have a moment that takes my breath away.
In 2015 I need to start finding a hobby. I’m a very busy person and very passionate about all I do I want to find a hobby to de-stress my busy life. I get tied up with life and everything I have on my plate and need to learn to have an outlet to relax and enjoy myself and something I enjoy.
Coming into college I have started to learn to spread my leadership and passion. In 2015 I want to learn to share my leadership and passion through facilitations and in my everyday life. Which I like to sum up by saying in 2015 I want to share my happiness.
In 2015 my goal is to succeed in everything I set my mind to. This past year I have learned that the sky is the limit. I learned that my dreams aren’t just dreams I can turn them into realities. No dream is too big. I plan to take full advantage of that realization and start chasing dreams that in the past I thought were too big.
I had no idea what to expect when going into class when President Ross came to speak. I’ve heard so many good, amazing things about him. I was very intrigued to see what kind of approach he was going to take with his presentation and how he was going to impact my leadership. He came into our class and was so relaxed and truly cared about what we stand for as an Leadership Advancement Scholar (LAS) and the Leadership Institute (LI). He spoke about his past and how he got to where he is today. How he went from poverty to president. He spoke about what he stood for and believed in. He talked about himself, but not for long he truly wanted to hear from us. He wanted to honestly answer our questions. Everything from what would the best Christmas present be, which he said world peace, to what do you believe is the best leadership quality to have is and he said to be passionate. President Ross’s presentation inspired me that no matter how low you’re at to always strive for your dreams. Take full advantage of everything that comes you’re way.
Within the course, along with many interesting, helpful components some points in the semester the classes didn’t seem to flow and got very choppy. I had a hard time seeing where you were going with the lessons. By that I mean they didn’t seem relevant to what I thought we were supposed to be talking about. I didn’t start feeling that way until the middle of the semester. The beginning was fine just learning the history and the background information, but in the middle I lost the direction, until getting to the debates which I was able to see the relevance and the flow came more apparent. Along with the debates, I would have really appreciated if we took a day to quick like practice runs, like mock debates. Having volunteers come up and do a mock of what will be happening. With the debates and getting prepared I felt like I was running in the dark. We had the information to prepare us sufficiently but didn’t feel fully prepared which I believe a practice run just quickly acting through it would have helped greatly!
There is a lot more to debates than I knew. A lot of preparation and research as well as getting in tune with your public speaking confidence. This class prepared me fully to gather the information and find a direction to persuade my audience. Learning about ethos logos and pathos to start our knowledge working through to creditability. Learning about how to debate will be very beneficial in the rest of our lives. Many people it is very hard to get up in front of a group of people and give a presentation not only putting yourself on the line with a debate. I have never taken part in any sort of debate before this class. So going into the debates I was very nervous, I learned that I had to be very prepared and learned to talk on my toes and to trust my preparation. Which are all skills that will help me in my future career in public relations, but weren’t quite all there at the beginning of the semester. The most surprising thing to me about learning and doing debates was the fact there were different types and styles of debating. Different ways to have essentially a conversation and persuade them to believe what you believe, get on your side. Whether it be cross examining, or going through the stock issues they were all components that I had no idea where apart of debates. I thought all you had to do was go up and talk, or even yell at each other. All in all the benefits I gained for debating in class was being able to learn to be more confident in myself. Being able to debate gives people the opportunity to learn to step out of their box, and to be confident with their words which is essential to be successful in this day and age.
Throughout this course there were many lessons that I could see would be very relevant to my future career and life in general. Learning how to look for creditability and how to be a critical thinker is an extremely valuable skill. On top of that being able to look into a debate, even if it isn’t a formal debate, for example debated societal conversation and be able to understand to look at both sides, which is an attribute that is very helpful to have in life when having to make decisions potentially voting for our next president, not just deciding on which tie you like better. All of those lesson were topics that are not only helpful, but were interesting. For instance when we watched the movie on steroids in society is when I really learned to open my mind to both sides of the story and started to form my own opinion which is important when being a contributor to society.
Going into PSY 100L I thought I knew all what to expect. I took psychology in high school and I really enjoyed the material and the thought provoking concepts and theories. I went through it pretty easily. In college I was quick to find out that things were obviously very different, faster pace, topics in much more depth, and had to memorize way more than in high school. It was a rocky start with all that being asked and trying to get a hang of things. Dr. Prewitt also asked us to put all these concepts in terms of leadership, which brought the in depth thoughts to another level. At the start it was hard to find the connection on how these concepts could help impact my leadership. Even though the beginning was rocky it all slowly tied itself together. The pace became normal and the depth of the conversations were able to be grasped a lot easier. About half way through the semester I was able to apply some of the concepts of how to better myself as a leader. The class as a whole was eye opening and not only by the amazing ways of the human brain, but the ability to better understand yourself and the emotions and aneurisms we deal with everyday, leader or not. Knowing that information and how it works, gives us the ability to understand more about how people may react, and the knowledge to have more awareness as they are going through situations, giving us the ability to better lead them. At the end of the semester we were required to write a 15 page paper on certain concepts of psychology and how they connect to leadership. Yes, I knew that we were taking this class for a reason and started to apply the concepts to my everyday leadership, but not until writing that paper did everything for the first day of class tie together. It resonated with me that I learned so much about not only leadership, but what kind of leader I want to be and what kinds of things will help and hinder me to getting there. Through the ups and downs of the course it ended on a positive note really inspiring me to be the best leader I can be.
The mentor mentee retreat at Eagle village was an experience that was nothing what I was expecting, but turned out to be an experience that was life changing. Building a relationship with a mentor is something I have never done before. With everyone saying that you are going to be best friends and they will always be for you and so on and so forth made be nervous. Going to the retreat gave us the opportunity not only to become closer as friends, but learn about each other on a deeper level. Build the trust and understand that make our relationships special. I was blessed with an amazing mentor Seve Moralaz, we are two very different people and have different perspectives on life, but yet are very similar. Our relationship grew stronger through the retreat. Beside the relationship with my mentor, relationships between my fellow cohort and their mentors grew. We had the opportunity to be in groups with other mentors and their mentees while working through leadership activities. That being one of the first experiences working with so many very strong leaders and being able to work with them and take in their perspectives were eye opening and rewarding. As it was happening could feel myself taking mental notes on what kind of leader I want to be. I learned so much about myself as a leader. I learned my strengths, as well as my weaknesses and how to harness those to become the leader I want to be.
When I think back to Safari 2014, it was so much more than learning leadership. It was the start of college. It marked the start of a new chapter in my life. That week before everyone else in the university got there we moved in. I met my best friends. Got no sleep because we stayed up until dawn getting to know each other, laughing until we cried, talking till our voices were gone, and making connections I’ll have for the rest of my life. Than woke up at the crack of dawn to start the day of festivities. The main aspect of safari were almost just as memorable. It was a nerve wrecking experience at the start. You get put into a group of strangers and are told “oh you’ll be sharing your deepest thoughts, and become your most vulnerable with these people sitting around you”. All you can think is “uhh no you guys are crazy”, but that exactly what you do. I remember making the conscious decision that this experience will be what I make it. I could sulk and complain about being tired and that I’ve done all these activities before, or I could step up, be a leader and help my group leader make a family out of our group. To make this an experience that not only impacts our lives in a leadership aspect, but was fun for everyone. I realized the more I personally opened up that everyone else in my group would open up as well. Every day we would take part on activities that tested our ability to work as a team. We learned the importance of communication and trust. Beside learning and practicing leadership traits we spoke about ourselves. How we as now college students on our own will impact this university. How we can be successful in college and life. We listened to motivational speakers that inspired me to be a better me. To make goals and follow my dreams. Speakers who taught us how to not be afraid to be ourselves and to meet new people and to step out of our comfort zones. There we also just fun performers like the Asia Project, a performance that brought everyone in the stands to tears. Comedians, illusionists and more. We met hundreds of people and laughed, sang, mooooooooosed, wobbled, cried, and learned to trust and respect. At the end of activities or speakers we would debrief. Talk about how they made us feel. We shared personal stories that connected, or how it made light bulbs go off in our heads. Find that new perspective on an idea/concept. Safari was an experience I will never forget. I couldn’t imagine going into college without it. I felt so much more confident, and acclimated once classes started. I learned so much about myself, and as crazy as it sounds I learned about life. I got blessed with a group that opened up and we were able to get the full experience out of Safari 2014 (Tasmanian devil for life!).