The Leadership Institute staff believes that students want to be leaders and they want to learn how to do it effectively. This semester we took a bold step forward by offering two sessions of the Spark Leadership Series, our introductory program for students seeking a community to understand leadership and collaboration in groups and teams. One session would be housed in the Leadership Institute and the other session would take place across campus in the Towers Residence Hall. Three days before our newly introduced Wednesday session of Spark began we had 13 participants signed up and this type of program requires 40 people in the room for it to be effective. You can imagine the stress our team felt when deciding between trying to turn 13 into at least 40 or to deny future student leaders the opportunity to grow by canceling the session.
Well, we didn’t cancel the session and our team made it happen. In 72 hours, we turned 13 into 63 and history was made. Now more than ever, the Leadership Institute is able to empower more student leaders across campus because of the hard work and support of students, faculty, and staff. This semester by offering two sessions we’ll be able to empower 130 students to realize their leadership potential. This year the Spark Leadership Series will reach nearly 230 students on CMU’s campus.
Nearly six years ago at LeaderShape, a program offered by CMU’s Leadership Institute, I was introduced to the idea of having a healthy disregard for the impossible. Our office lives and breathes that idea each and every day. Students lives are transformed and because of that, they go on to change their communities, countries, and eventually the world. To some this may seem dramatic – dare I say impossible, but to us, it’s just another day at the office.
A special thank you to our team of coordinators, facilitators, and campus partners who make Spark happen from week to week. I have never been more proud of student leaders taken our mission one step further. Fire Up Chips!