Desteny Maragh – Journalist
Campus Leadership Week offers many events and opportunities to develop students’ skills as a leader.
As part of Leadership Week, graduate interns from the Student Engagement Office organized various online activities and events to connect student leaders.
With COVID-19 still prevalent, interns were looking for a way to host an in-person event while respecting university regulations.
They decided to have an event dedicated to creating a vision board where the students could come and choose from different backgrounds, cut out photos, choose quotes and draw with coloring supplies to help create a board full of pictures. ‘potential goals.
âTalk to existence,â said Chelsey Cerrato, graduate student in TESOL education and bilingual education. The main objective of this program was to document “how you see yourself as a leader in the future and what you aspire to be.” The painting is a visual representation of what you would want in life.
âI wrote on my board ‘accept failure’ because life is not always easy and accepting failure is a big part of becoming a successful leader,â Cerrato said.
Cerrato said she had hosted an event like this in the past with the Latin American Student Organization during her undergraduate studies, so she was familiar with the creative process.
âPersonally, I made it one towards my life goals and where I want to be I’m an education student, so I turned my advice towards that,â Cerrato said.
âTo lead you first have to be a follower,â Cerrato said.
âIt helps put things in perspective. Like, these are your goals, this is what you need to focus on.
She said she believes the vision boards can be used as a motivational tool and can serve as a daily reminder of long-term aspirations. âI’m going to hang this in my office,â Cerrato said.
Another intern from the Office of Student Participation who organized the event is student development major Alandre Alexis, graduate student.
âOne of the biggest things that made us organize this event is to give people the chance to visualize and create what they want to see in themselves and in the people around them,â said Alexis. .
âThey can literally see and touch whatever they want,â Alexis said.
Alexis spoke about a vision board he did recently for a class that was based on seeing yourself 10 years from now.
He said he had started to think about it in depth.
âWhat exactly do I want to see,â Alexis said. âI was trying to be very honest with myself. I asked myself, what do I want, what is going to be there, what can I control, what can’t I control. Putting it all on a board is a calming thing, âsaid Alexis.
He said he made several vision boards and each one has a different message and meaning.
âNo matter how many times you do it, it always looks different,â Alexis said. “I can do a vision board again today, and it would be totally different from the one I did last week.”
âIt just shows that as a person you are always changing. Your dreams, hopes, and goals are constantly changing.
Another intern who organized the event is Michael Lauer, a graduate student in student development.
âWe were looking for something to do in person that was low key and wouldn’t bring in a crowd of people because of COVID-19,â Lauer said.
He said it’s important to have goals when making the boards.
âEnvisioning was one goal, but another was to connect students with leaders and leadership and what that is like,â Lauer said.