Cat Mattis—When I first came to Brockport, I considered myself a follower. I thought I would never be able to be a leader because I was soft spoken and a tad shy. Despite my doubts, I figured leadership skills was something I better work on when I came to Brockport and I did this by joining the Leadership Development Program.
I have completed the Green and Gold levels and I am now making my way through the Presidential stage of the program. The first two stages helped me immensely by helping me identify the true meaning of a leader. The Green level was focused on attending workshops to discover more about myself and I had a mentor through the program that helped me analyse what I learned in the workshops. The three main themes of the workshops were congruence, commitment and consciousness of self. I definitely didn’t realize what I was learning at the time but even to this day I look back on the information I gathered during those Green level sessions and relate it to problems that I currently am facing.
The Gold level was focused on community service. I had to complete a project along with a group of other students. We had a little of a semester to complete this because we had to have it completed to present on it for Scholars Day, and the project turned out to be ten times more difficult than I expected it to be. We faced so many challenges, including losing group members and bad weather. At points, it was hard to keep positive, but everything worked out great in the end and my group could feel accomplished at the fact we left a positive impact in our community.
This year, I plan on completing the Presidential level. This level is composed of a class in the fall and a practicum experience in the spring. The textbook for this class is a little tough to read, but so far it’s my favorite class I have taken since coming to Brockport. This class is teaching me how to approach disagreements from a different point of view. Instead of attacking disagreements with anger, ask questions as to why a person feels that way to understand their perspective. So many college students struggle with this concept and it’s so necessary for everyone to learn, especially if anyone intends on leading in any way in their profession.
The featured image is another reason that the Leadership Development Program is so fantastic. This past Wednesday, I was able to attend an Empowering Women Luncheon put on by the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County. President Heidi Macpherson and Kim Piatt invited members of our leadership class to attend. This was such an amazing event I got to experience through the program and I really did feel empowered being in the presence of so many strong female leaders and hearing their stories.
I am so grateful for the communication skills I have learned and the experience I have had through the Leadership Development Program. I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in improving their leadership skills. Thanks to the LDP I am now a good leader, on my way to becoming a great leader!