Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Joe, Student Launcher, and The LeaderShape Institute

When I first heard about LeaderShape, I thought it would be like all the other leadership conferences I’ve been to: Meeting new people, sharing ideas, networking, and then go back home and keep working on our goals. But when I arrived in Champaign, IL on Sunday afternoon, the welcome by the LeaderShape staff blew my mind because it was engaging and fast paced, which kept us on our two feet the whole time. As soon as we settled in, our Lead Facilitators had us hitting the ground running. After all of our exercises, I had noticed that time was flying by so fast that I felt we needed more time to continue working. In the past, conferences and workshops I’ve attended have been more on a calmer pace and not as packed, but I felt that this new transition was good because I was learning new concepts and meeting new people! The whole week was just an amazing experience because it helped me learn new things about myself and also pushed me into fifth gear in my vision to create a non-profit that provides first generation latino/a student’s the resources they need to attend college. One thing that has kept with me since LeaderShape has been Day 7.
Flying Penguins

Day 7 is every day since my last day in LeaderShape and I have put things into motion to keep my vision alive. The week was so amazing that I still communicate with my family cluster and our cluster facilitator. We have been in touch with one another allowing us to be ahead of the game by continuing to carry our Vision.

Something else I learned during my time at LeaderShape is that other people do want you to be successful, and are willing to help you in any way they can. The reason I say that is because when I was finalizing my paper work, my advisor/mentor on campus told me that we would have to raise about $500 in order for me to be able to attend LeaderShape. She proposed that I use Student Launcher (formerly known as AlumniChoose) and spread the word. After getting set up with them, I started to follow them on twitter and then that lead me to communicate with Tom Krieglstein, founder of Student Launcher. I felt confident because I had the support system in place and now it was time to execute. So after talking to Julie (my advisor and mentor on campus) and Mr. Krieglstein, I began to tap into my network to spread the word about my goal and ask for people to either donate to my project or help me spread my goal. The way AlumniChoose works is that I’m able to create a profile and a project, and within that project, I’m able to describe what I want to do, how I’m going to do it and its outcome. It also allows me to show how much funding I’ll need and also the perks people will get after the pledge. It’s so easy to use and I can say that thanks to Student Launcher, Julie, Tom, and the 12 donors, I made it to LeaderShape! My over all experience with Student Launcher and LeaderShape has taught me that if you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything, and if you carry out your vision and work every day as Day 7, you can make a change in the world. It also reiterated my thoughts of never forgetting where we came from or who we are because that will guide us to where we’re going and who we’re going to be! 

Thanks to Joe Posado for sharing his story with us!

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