One of the most impactful activities in my life has been attending the Glenwood Leadership Development programs.
You often hear about the qualities of leadership, but at Glenwood, where participants are paired with professional mentors, I actually saw how to be a leader.
Each of the three different mentors I had during my high school years has impacted me deeply. They genuinely cared about me and my everyday life. I was impressed by the generous, giving nature of these men who spent countless hours guiding us and nurturing our growth. This moved me to try to share my talents with others.
One incident really struck me and stuck with me. I was invited by my mentor to visit his relative in a nursing home. Upon reflection, I believe he was trying to help me see beyond myself to develop awareness of other people’s needs and motivate me to give of myself.
I was overwhelmed to see how lonely and reclusive these people were. Their freedom and mobility were severely restricted. Discovering a piano, I sat down and began to play quietly. As I finished my first song, I noticed people listening and so I continued playing. Their response was the most grateful and uplifting I have ever received.
My mentor’s uncle was overjoyed at the opportunity to share stories with us about his card collection. It impressed me how much it meant to him to have someone value him. I saw the importance of being present to others.
I believe that learning to give of one self by valuing and caring for others are key leadership skills which, thanks to the Glenwood programs, I am striving to attain and develop.