Leadership for Students Activities - May 2015, NASC Edition - (Page 10)

LE A GU ED STUDEN DER D I ST I N H IS T Leader BEING A Leadership in their own words ww 2015 w. n a s c . u Each month, NASC spotlights students who have reached higher and explored further to become better leaders by successfully completing the NASC Distinguished Student Leaders Program. Students explore their own leadership styles, recognize and respond to situations calling for leadership decisions, and demonstrate their skills and knowledge as leaders. Our Distinguished Student Leader for May is Marissa Hernandez of Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology in Conyers, GA. L eadership: It's not just a word that people choose to apply to themselves whenever they feel like it. It's a lifestyle. Leading others is one of the most rewarding things that a person can do. To be a good leader, you have to lift others up and walk alongside them as they explore themselves and who they want to be. To be a leader is to have respect for and to gain respect from those you are leading. Being a leader means pushing others to achieve things they never believed were possible and providing them with the tools they need to excel in everything they do. Being a leader is being a role model who people can look to for help. I have learned many things along my leadership journey. First, the way you lead must fit the people you are leading. Within our council are students in grades 9-12, and I've had to help someone from each grade level. Being a leader is not about being older or even more experienced; it is about learning from each other and helping all students in all grade levels. I am a senior, and this is my second year being student council president, but I've volunteered for many years. Through these years I have learned that you have to step up when needed. This learning experience came about in ninth and tenth grade when the student council needed help with dances and pepping up the student body. This was the first time I jumped in and realized that sometimes you may not be the one banging the gavel, but you can lead where you are needed. I realized that stepping up and leading in instances where help is necessary can keep you humble and help you learn all that you need to one day become the person who is banging the gavel. Being a leader means respecting many different opinions. Many ideas were thrown out when we were recently deciding a dance theme. Some weren't great and others were too unrealistic. I learned then that, as the president, I had to take all of these ideas and combine or distill them into one idea that we could accomplish and be 10 leadership for student activities s proud of. Synthesizing people's feelings and ideas is a huge part of being a leader, especially of a council. Being a leader is not always easy. It means persevering through any obstacle and not being afraid to ask for help. I go to a magnet school. This means we have a lot of work and little time to do it. I applied to this school knowing that, and I have persevered. In my junior year, though, I realized that getting through would be harder than I thought as I realized that the workload could tear me down. With all the work, family life, social life, and student council, I wasn't sure if I could succeed. However, I realized that being a leader does not mean that you have to make it through hard times alone. You can call on your fellow council members to work together to accomplish something amazing. I made it through the year and pulled off a very successful dance, a great social, and wonderful teacher appreciation activities. I led assemblies, pep rallies, and student motivation weeks. However, none of this was possible without the council that was right behind me, helping along the way. I realized that being a part of student council and leading it was more rewarding than anything that I could have done in high school. The group of students that I had the pleasure to lead stood behind me and supported me through the years. I am proud of all I've learned, because being a leader is not doing everything yourself; it is learning to use everyone's strengths to achieve things that people never thought you could. My Distinguished Student Leader portfolio has engrained these ideas into me. Leading doesn't mean taking on all the work yourself or pushing people aside to be a success. It means realizing that humility is a must, and perseverance is not possible without the people around you. I have been blessed beyond measure to lead the groups of students I have led, and I can't wait to share what I have learned from them and from this certified leader program with the rest of the world.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Leadership for Students Activities - May 2015, NASC Edition

Editor’s Note
Questions & Answers
Take Note
Being a Leader
From the Director
Structural Strength
Maintaining Leadership Momentum
What Matters to Your Community?
Lessons for Leaders
Activities Exchange
Things to Do

Leadership for Students Activities - May 2015, NASC Edition

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