My first year at college was rough. I didn’t have a lot of friends, had a 2.4 GPA, and missed home. Then, in May, 2008, I attended the Ignite Leadership program hosted by the Illinois Leadership Center. I learned that despite being an introvert, I could still be a leader. My peers believed in me and encouraged me. I also met Anna. Anna was the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Illinois. I ran into her in the summer between my first and second year and told her I was interested in the Leadership Certificate Program, but I didn’t know anyone willing to be my coach. She said, “I’ll do it,” handed me her business card, and told me to contact her when school started.
In student affairs we always ask – how did this program impact our students? Sometimes, we don’t know the impact until years later. Working with Anna led me to some amazing opportunities – working at the Illinois Leadership Center, being a dining center student manager, graduating from an amazing student affairs graduate program, serving as a Resident Director on Semester at Sea, and a career in student affairs. I have had the privilege of receiving mentorship from so many great professionals in the field, which all started at the University of Illinois with this one leadership program. I get up every day and #achievemore because my Ignite Small Group in the picture saw something in me that I didn’t see in me at the time. I #achievemore because people tell me I can’t or no, but I find a way. I’m determined. I’m dedicated. I want to be impactful and mentor the generations behind me, and to do that, I have to be at my best.
What Drives You to #AchieveMore?