“Leadership is using one’s strengths to unite, guide, and enable a group of people toward a common goal and vision, which sets out to evoke positive, sustainable change in addressing the needs of others.”
This is the definition of leadership that students in the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), a co-curricular certificate program to build leadership skills for PhilaU students, collaborated on to describe the meaning of the word.
ELP is a six-week program designed to help new students understand learning experiences in co-curricular life and their relationship to classroom work; to assist students in becoming effective leaders on campus and in the community at PhilaU; and to encourage personal growth and development through active participation in discussion, exercises and workshops.
A luncheon was held Tuesday, Nov. 18 for the 31 students who completed the Fall 2008 program. In front of faculty, staff, fellow ELP participants, family and friends, Stephen Weisbrod explained that he has become a stronger leader after completing the program. “We each learned to broaden our horizons, and at times were asked to analyze ourselves and our character.”
Weisbrod summed up the program’s experience with the following Booker T. Washington quote, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.”
In the program students learned leadership skills from faculty, staff and other students on campus, and also learned from their peers. As a result of this collaborative experience, they learned about working together and that differences and diverse backgrounds can contribute to strong leaders.
“Leadership is the act of caring for others,” Oluwadara Ojugbeie read from fellow ELP participant Diamond Newman who was unable to attend the luncheon. “They [the participants] have the desire to find ways to make a better world.”
ELP is a cornerstone to all leadership programs for new students at PhilaU explains Aurelio Valente, assistant dean for Student Development. “Not only did students develop leadership skills that will help them grow at this University, in their future professions and in their communities, these students have a better understanding of themselves and their peers,” he said.
The Fall 2008 ELP participants include:
Gabrielle Dei Tos
Due to high interest in ELP, a Spring 2009 program is being planned. Interested students and faculty and staff interested in nominating a student should contact the Student Development Programs Office at ext. 2634 or online at www.PhilaU.edu/StudentDev/.