Rich in Leadership
This week, Simmons students returned to the classroom after several weeks of winter break. At the Scott/Ross Center, the first students to return to the office are our student leaders who oversee our mentoring, literacy and tutoring programs. They are busy recruiting and training both new and continuing volunteers to partner with our community organizations. I am impressed by their dedication, enthusiasm and management skills. Our student leaders of such organizations such as Simmons Builds, Steps to Success, Afterschool at Simmons, Girls Leap, SWSG (Strong Women, Strong Girls), and Gateway to name a few, work successfully with their peers to deliver strong programming and services throughout the city. Each semester, there are over 180 undergraduate students who participate in these programs.
It says a lot about our community that we have so many students willing to step up and not only volunteer but also lead. Last month, we held a very well attended "Campus to Community" Leadership event that highlighted the accomplishments of last year's S/RC Fellows in Nonprofit Management as well as provided a forum for discussion of what community leadership meant to the attendees and the role that students can play. We had a lively discussion led by Robert Lewis, Jr. of the Boston Foundation of not only what community leaders do but also about what values we bring as individuals to our community involvement. We heard from Kate Beyer of Massachusetts Campus Compact on her career path as the Coordinator of Student Programs at MACC and the active role that college students throughout the state are accomplishing through their service efforts. At Simmons, we run an exemplary MACC Americorp Student Leaders in Service program (ASLIS). 30 graduate and undergraduate students are enrolled in this program, which recognizes students who complete 300 hours (or more) of service and leadership to their community. That's 9,000 volunteer hours from our ASLIS team.
Next month, we will begin our selection process of the second team of S/RC Fellows another amazing opportunity to learn about leadership and nonprofit management. The S/RC is rich in opportunities to lead and learn. In our service activities we learn from each other and the community members that we interact with. These learning opportunities make us stronger and more well rounded leaders. We encourage students to come to the S/RC and seek out these opportunities.
"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." John F. Kennedy