Great things about I-LEAD
In short, the three best things about I-LEAD for me were learning about myself and what I want, and the students and facilitators who I spent my time with. When I went to I-LEAD, I was expecting it to be a lot like the regional conference for ACUI that I attended in Fall 2010, but what I got was so much more personal and lasting.
Everyone I met there made an impact on me both while I was there and what I think will stay with me for a long time. I went to the conference not knowing anyone, so I was expecting for everyone to be shy and not really make an attempt at talking to one another, or be hesitant and shy like I find with a lot of the other students on my campus. What happened when I went there was entirely different. The facilitators made everyone feel right at home and worked really hard to make sure that people were not just hiding in their rooms or confused about anything. Even farther than that, all of the students I met were incredibly friendly, nice, and enthusiastic about being there and hearing about Boston and what was going on at New England schools. I immediately felt welcomed and it was a wonderful feeling, that I do not come across often enough. Throughout the week, people continued to inspire me with the stories of challenges they had overcome and the perseverance they showed, and how many lives they had affected not only through their work on campuses but in their local, national and some of them even global communities. Everyone was so free to share their thoughts, opinions, and try to help me in any way they could, and have still been keeping in touch.
One part of I-LEAD that helped me more was learning about myself and what I want. All the different activities we participated in made us challenge ourselves to go into different ways of thinking, leading, and participating than we were used to. At the end of the week, we were left with the challenge of continuing to encompass all the aspects of leadership, especially the ones we were weakest on. I’m still working to keep doing that, and I still have all my I-LEAD friends to back me up if I need a confidence booster or some ideas on how to approach things differently.
I-LEAD was honestly a life-changing experience for me, and if there were one thing I could add to it, it would be having more students be able to go. I got more out of it from my classes and campus involvement could ever provide me in one week, and I am glad ACUI gives students the chance to experience this.
University of Massachusetts – Boston