Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Voice of Student Leadership: Passion, Initiative, and Youngsters, Oh My!

Alex Burgraff offers insight to managing student volunteers

Alrighty, so I’m not going to say I’m an expert in this stuff but I do have some experiences under my belt that I can share with you all so we can schmooze over the incredible rewards in the field of student leadership, mentorship, and overall growth. The topic I’m going to cover today is about inspiring students to take initiative… which can either make you pull your hair out and eat it or give you the incredible reward of watching a youngster find their passions and achieve it in the way that suits them.

Key word here? Passion. Passion = initiative. Find a student’s passion they’ll run a marathon when you only asked them to meet you at the end of the block. Force a student to complete something they HATE in a timely fashion and you may end up feeling more like you’re the one running a marathon while pushing them in a broken wheel barrel… barefoot… on gravel.

Now how are you supposed to figure out this kid’s passion and help them let it all out? Well I think my life’s philosophy would come in handy here: don’t over-complicate things. So step 1) ASK THEM. Step 2) find correlating opportunities with answer to number 1. Step 3) Provide coaching and guidance for how to manage passion with deliverables. Step 4) Step back and admire.

Initiative is a key component of success, and highly valued by employers. Helping a student learn how to take initiative through their passions is incredibly rewarding and has the potential to allow our society to grow and expound like never before. Let’s make it happen!

Until next time HuTerrian superheroes… peace!