A critical part of leadership is empowerment—the act of helping others maximize their potential. As a leader, your role is not just about accomplishing your individual goals, but working as a collective toward the greater good and being sure to “reach back as [you] climb.” I was lucky to spend my weekend with some insightful, passionate leaders who seek to do just that on Northeastern’s campus. On Friday night, I piled onto a Peter Pan bus with 13 student leaders and 4 staff members, and headed toward the snowy woods of YMCA Camp Burgess for the EMPOWER Retreat.
EMPOWER is an initiative that was started within the cultural centers on campus to build a cross-cultural community that fosters collaboration. Although the cold was less than a selling point, this weekend was filled with team-building, laughs, and life lessons. Students represented organizations like PAAC, NBSA, CSA, NASO, SHPE, LASO and MGC, and NPHC. It was inspiring to see such dedication and community in one room, and I was reminded yet again why I chose to be a student affairs professional.
This weekend brought back memories from my days as a student leader in cultural organizations at my alma mater, Clark University. I experienced major déjà vu when I realized I had come to this very same camp for a retreat when I was in undergrad many moons ago! Hearing the many stories of strength and struggle reminds us that while there is much to be thankful for, we still have a lot of work to do in the name of social justice and inclusion. I invite you all to play your part, and take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to push outside your comfort zone and explore the amazing diversity Northeastern has to offer. While I attended this retreat to empower others, I left with a renewed sense of passion and wound up being empowered as well. A special thank you to everyone who participated, for your commitment to learning and furthering our community!
Keep the spark alive,