Over the past two weeks, FIVE Missouri State students had the priveledge to attend the LeaderShape Institute in Champaign, Illinois. The LeaderShape Institute is a 6 day program that challenges participants to lead with integrity while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values. Participants explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be. To learn more about LeaderShape visit www.leadershape.org.
Blake Shepheard, Emily Cassimatis, and Courtney Pfluke attended the first session July 20-25 and Caleb Hearon and Keslea Fink attended the second session July 27 – August 1. We asked them to jot down a few small journal entries while they were attending the institute so that we could share their experience.
Emily Cassimatis, a junior psychology major, says she learned a lot at LeaderShape and even developed ideas that she hopes to put in place on Missouri State’s campus in the future. Here are some of her experiences:
Day 2- The Value of One, The Power of All
“Today’s lesson was a surprisingly powerful one. It seems simple- realizing one person may have a special talent but applying it to a group setting, but it was more than just that. We had the opportunity to open up to one another in our family clusters, and I realized that today meant more than just realizing how one person’s talent could relate to a group; it meant that in order to be effective as a group all its members have to understand each other on a deeper level. Today humbled me as I came to understand not only how privileged I was, but how those less fortunate than I am were doing so much more and were so much happier with much less than I could imagine.”
Day 3- Challenging What is, Looking to What Could Be
“Today we formed our “vision”- what our ideal world would look like. In my ideal world no one would have to pay for higher education. Anywhere. Can you imagine the power in that? I decided in order to make this vision a reality I could start working my “vision-magic” at MO State. My idea is to have a text book rental program that trades community service hours for free books. So a student could do 200 hours of community service for an agency approved by the school, and in turn they would get free book rentals (or at least deductions). Even that is a lofty goal! But if it could happen anywhere, it would happen at MO State. Ending the day proud to be a bear and excited to live in a state of possibility.”
Day 7- Now
“Now what? Leadershape was a powerful and exhausting experience. Through it I learned the tools to not only be a more effective leader, but a more effective dreamer. To quote Henry David Thoreau, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” I have so many castles in the air, and I cannot wait to see what foundations this life provides me with.”