When I tell people I’m studying leadership they tend to scoff and somewhat underestimate the complicated facets that go into the concept. Truthfully, I’m somewhat biased because I love being a part of the President’s Leadership Program (PLP) and attending classes for my leadership minor. I’ve met so many wonderful people through the experience and have defined certain aspects of my identity along the way. However, my favorite part of the entire program happens to be my PLP coordinator.
She was the first person I met on campus last year who challenged me to think of myself with more complexity as a freshman. Even though I had just begun my journey, she told me to start thinking of ways I can impact the community around me. At first, I had no idea where to start, but she helped to organize goals for me that would be completed each year.
Service is a major part of the goals my coordinator and I set out to accomplish. I loved animals and knew I wanted to help an organization involved with that service track. She helped me find a place in the community to start volunteering with and even connected me with another student so we could drive there together. Each semester when we meet she still asks about my job there and keeps up to date with how many hours I’ve earned.
Studying abroad is also a major goal I knew I had coming to college and when I joined PLP I quickly learned this was an important element for the program too. I had earned some scholarship money from the program in order to study here in Italy. When I told my coordinator about my plans to journey abroad she was so proud of me for pushing past my comfort zone. She made the scholarship process run smoothly and helped connect me to contacts I needed. In our last meeting she even suggested her favorite gelato store in Florence!
I love talking with my coordinator because I recognize her genuine goal to see me succeed and her passion toward her work. I’m so grateful and honored to have such an amazing person in my life and feel comforted to have such a friendly face at Christopher Newport. Overall, the program has helped me grow so much as a person and I can’t wait to see what comes next.