Final day of “NEW”

All week our group has worked diligently to prepare ourselves to present in front of our “legislative panel”. When each group presented, I could tell how hard everyone had worked to make this day the best that we could. The legislative panel asked a few tough questions, but no one ever froze or became nervous. We worked on our toes and gave our best answers according to what we had learned, and at the end of the day that’s enough for me.

One group presents to the legislative panel

One group presents to the legislative panel

There are a lot of times in your life when you should take the time to debrief.

So that’s what we did. Some key points were:

  • Keep your main themes to remind the people why you are there.
  • Show your passion.
  • If you say you don’t like/agree with something, make sure to offer a solution or alternative.
  • Work together.
  • Do your homework.
  • Be focused and less vague when speaking on a point.
  • Uplift and support your colleagues during the presentation and behind the scenes.
  • Be aware of who you are around. Be formal especially when addressing those who have worked hard for the title they hold.

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We also took a moment to debrief individually within our project groups. After hearing what each person had learned and how they would be committed in the future, we made a single statement that encompassed our group overall.

IMG_2797 IMG_2798

We’re deep.

As a reminder, before the program began I stuck to my belief that I would never run for any government office. I want to thank Carole because she was determined that I would change my initial thoughts about running for office by the end of the program. I’m not saying that I’m running for President (ever), but I’m definitely not as closed off to the idea of working with government officials in the future. Thanks for not giving up on my stubborn self. In her closing remarks, she also reminded us that we matter to her, and she knows how much we are going to matter to many others in the near future.

Carole gets her picture posted because she doesn't seem to use Facebook.

Carole gets her picture posted because she doesn’t seem to use Facebook.

And thanks to ALL of the people who took their precious time to stay with us the entire week!

Nancy left us with her final words of “Listen. Learn. Help. Lead.” which can be applied to our daily lives. I realized we should live our lives as leadership models.

Kelly assured us stay the way we are. Fearless. This makes us stand out among the rest. (She even offered me the opportunity to write a guest blog about the overall program for the Rutgers University website! I’m going to miss you!)

Kate reminded us that you cannot grow without challenges, so we shouldn’t forget to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. She said the combination of people at this program formed the “dream team” and I completely agree.

Bridget was always energized from watching us day to day. I want to thank her for being so genuine to me all week and for sharing my blog. It meant a lot to me that someone thought to highly of my little writings.

Brother Rodgers concluded with asking us to go back to our school or hometown and tell the person who recruited us all about the program and our experiences. And we can’t forget to encourage other bright women at our colleges to apply next year.

I have been given an incredible amount of advice about leadership this week, which I plan on transferring to my positions that I hold at school. It has also given me even more reassurance as I take my job as a leadership facilitator at MGS next month. This experience was priceless, and I feel like my recent posts tell it all.

Even though today was the final day of Mississippi’s first NEW Leadership program, it will not be the last for many people. I know we will keep connected with the new relationships we have made this week and will find ways to continue to learn from each other. I also have so much hope in the future of this program at MUW. This program has proven to be an amazing and beneficial opportunity for college women across the state, and I know it will become even more successful year after year.

This is not the end. It is a new beginning.

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