When it comes to the idea of student leadership, many students are not sure what the role entails. It can be an intimidating title, Student Leader. Before I attempted to take on leadership roles, I remember thinking to myself, “How can someone handle more than just being a student?” Well that answer lies with the person who chooses to take on the role. There are a few questions you have to ask yourself. Are you comfortable adding a little more to your plate? Are you ready to give your time to an organization? How can you fit this organization in?
To be totally honest, from my point of view, a student leader is just a regular student who has chosen to take on a little more responsibility. This added responsibility does not make them any better or worse than a general member of an organization or any regular student. These roles are always a learning experience and that is what I love most about them. They give you the chance to learn a lot about yourself and about the cause of the organizations as well.
|Quick selfie with some |
This past weekend was one of the many amazing opportunities I have gained from being a student leader. The All-Campus Conference at Penn State Berks, hosted by the Blue and White Society and the Lion Ambassadors, allowed student representatives of these organizations from all throughout the Penn State system to come and share in the experience of leadership and community service.
I not only had the chance to meet Lion Ambassadors and Blue and White members from other campuses, but I was able to give back to a community through the Gilmore | Henne Community Fund. This experience in itself was one to remember. It all started with an inspiring speech from the Chancellor, Dr. Hillkirk. After the conference had commenced, I was able to attend a few break-out sessions that taught me a lot about how to work in a team, handle conflict, and how to fix any issues arising amongst a group. It was so awesome! I felt as though I couldn’t take enough notes.
|Berks LA mascot Lionel |
helping with the egg hunt.
During dinner, we were all given the chance to listen to our keynote speaker, Jay Paterno! He was a phenomenal speaker. Going off of experiences he had in his own life, he motivated the conference attendees as a whole to give back and remember why we cared about our causes in the first place. These messages seemed to spread and rejuvenate the crowd.
We began our tour challenge scavenger hunt, allowing us to bond with members from all different campuses. We broke down into groups and raced across campus with the help of clues to give representatives from the other campuses a chance to learn about Penn State Berks. A little friendly competition is always a good way to get a group talking and joking around. My team had a great time and ended up with some good memories.
|My Hero Zero!|
The final part of the first day was my favorite part! A My Hero Zero concert! This band, well known to Penn State, had a great show that got us up and dancing. It was impossible not to sing along to the songs they covered. I had a great time with everyone there and honestly look forward to the next time the band comes back to campus. I will see them again for sure!
|John Gilmore speaking before the egg hunt.|
On the last day of the conference, John Gilmore of the Gilmore | Henne Community Fund spoke to all of us as a whole before we headed out to do our community service. His inspiring story of life lessons and the start of his foundation motivated me to really want to make a difference. As a group, the Penn State student representatives helped each other to mulch a playground and prepare an Easter egg hunt for the community. I have never felt so good about giving away candy, and that is no easy task for me. I have a massive sweet tooth! The community immediately showed the appreciation as they hunted the eggs and played on the playground.
|Just a few of those |
friends I mentioned.
Looking back on the time I decided to take on these roles, I can honestly say I would do it again in a heartbeat. I have met some of my best friends through these organizations and opportunities like the All-Campus Conference make me feel even more grateful for the chances I have had. I know it always seems so scary to take on a new responsibility, but when it comes to a leadership role it is worth it. I have always found myself trying to find ways to give back to these organizations for all they have given me. Whether it is THON allowing me the chance to fight pediatric cancer or Lion Ambassadors giving me chances to meet those who participated in this conference, I am a very lucky person. As tiring as this weekend was, it was well worth it.
Until next time,