Nicole | Age: 22 | Chicopee, MA
Leadership is... providing others with the skills necessary to bring out their best traits and allow them maximize their truest potential. At the end of the day when the job is done, others should say we have done it ourselves.
Leadership in Life... As part of an educational team that works with a school in Haiti, I am leading a collaborative project to aid in the creation of a science laboratory program in Zorange, a small village tucked away in the mountains. The goal of this project is to provide the science teaching staff with expertise to run this laboratory on their own. The project began last November and it has been far from easy. There is no curriculum available, nor any supplies or lab furniture. All I started with was an empty room, four Haitian science teachers and a dream of empowering Haitian students through science education. The cultural differences made me worried that I would not be received well by the staff. In addition, having to get supplies donated, generate funds for lab tables, stools, and shelves, and create a beneficial lab curriculum in a different language has been no easy feat. Getting others to see my vision and provide culturally appropriate leadership have been some of my biggest challenges. Upon my most recent return to Haiti, the progress had brought tears to my eyes. The empty room is filled with tables and stools. A lab safety manual, successfully translated into French, was presented to the teachers through a professional development seminar. Together we corrected and perfected the manual that will be used this upcoming fall. Seeing the team of teachers learn about microscopes and proper lab techniques allowed me to visualize the lab in action. My dreams are slowly becoming reality. Instead of simply providing the school with supplies, we as a professional team are building a long lasting program that will improve science education for many years to come. At the end of this project, I feel I will have been successful if the teachers believe they have created this program instead of me.
Advice… Find passion in whatever you do and create a vision so grand that others take that dream and make it their own. In order to be a successful leader, the minds and hearts of the team must be weighted heavily and true collaboration must be in place. No impactful leader was ever successful alone. With great love, patience and the will to bring people together, a leader can empower anyone and change the world."
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