Week 4 – Lessons in Leadership – Edmond Legislative Delegation

During class, a common theme across Edmond’s legislative delegation was building and maintaining relationships in your personal and professional endeavors. How can you engage consistently in your community to accomplish strong and meaningful relationships?


  • Jerzi Hawkins

    I believe that building and maintaining relationships can be a very complex process. I believe the first step though, is to simply show up and be present. Find events around you, and go. Have courage to speak up and talk to people you might not have talked to in another scenario. Be engaged when you are with people, and be an active listeners. If you strike up conversation and find commonalities with people you will naturally start to build those relationships. As far as maintaining them, do not be afraid to reach out. Some of my best relationships have been made by calling someone to go get coffee before a meeting, or grabbing dinner after. Humans crave interaction, and I think if you can make the first leap, you are on your way to meaningful and fulfilling professional and personal relationships.

  • Teagan Jellison

    There are multiple ways a person can consistently engage in their community and gain meaningful relationships with others. This varies by each person’s circumstances. For example, as a Legislator I would hold town hall meetings. Doing so I would be able to speak on topics that are important to me while also hearing what other people’s opinions are on that topic as well. It would allow me to engage and get to know my community better. I would also show up to events within my community. This could be a county fair, a football game, or a fundraising event. No matter what it is I would be able to meet more people and create more meaningful relationships.
    These tactics are not as necessary when you are a typical citizen. As a citizen in my community I would try to consistently volunteer at organizations that are of interest to me. Doing that consistently would allow me to get to know the people in charge of the organization and what their goals are. I would also show up to community events where I can get to know more people and their life stories. Knowing the other people in your community will help you stay engaged and create more meaningful relationships.
    Although both of these lifestyles are extremely different, they both have one common theme. Showing up to events and being involved in them is the best way to create and maintain relationships along with engaging in your community.

  • Jenna Karp

    I think engaging in community is extremely important, because you have to build a coalition in order to get anything worthwhile accomplished. Being friendly and approachable is one of the best and easiest ways to continuously build relationships. Legislator Martinez was new to the Oklahoma area and described how he knocked on thousands of doors, just to talk and reach out to the community. Everyone wants an outlet to to express their thoughts, and simply making an effort to be open and approachable gives them that relationship they were seeking out. Along with making an effort, it’s important to have empathy and understand that each person is different and that we need to meet them where their at. Understanding and listening to those in the community deepens the connection and helps to build those trustworthy relationships.

  • Kyrah Raasch

    According to Ryan Martinez, networking is the best way to get to know people. The way that I can engage in my community and build strong relationships is by getting out of my comfort zone. I will try to be engaged with others in conversation and get to know others more by gaining a deeper level of trust. One more thing that was said by the legislatures was to make sure that we do not ever destroy relationships over disagreements. Understand that everyone has their own opinions and although we may not agree on the same things, it doesn’t mean that we cannot still have a healthy relationship with one another. Always be open minded and welcoming to others, and present yourself in a way that makes other want to know you.

  • Jordan Montelongo

    Leadership is all about the connections you create and how you are able to manage it. The Edmond legislators emphasized the importance of meeting your neighbors and being able to communicate with one another. It is important to listen with full attention, make time, and be authentic when meeting someone new. I believe being myself and showing humility creates a more meaningful connection that will have a positive effect in my future. Connecting on a deeper level goes a long way in showing you understand their perspective and allows the opportunity to create trust between one another. This will give me the opportunity to sustain and follow the same routine with new people. Representative Martinez also mentioned his volunteer work and I think that is an important aspect in giving back to our community because volunteering has been an effective way of building those meaningful relationships.

  • Matelyn Jones

    I really enjoyed hearing from the all the legislators Tuesday. I think they all had some great advice. I think everyone favored asking Legislator Martinez, and he some great responses. I thought it was amazing he knocked on 14,000 doors to get to know the neighborhood. That takes a lot courage to go to a strangers house and try to talk to them. I like how Legislator Martinez discussed that people are wanting to be heard, and want someone to talk to; we just need to make ourselves available to allow that communication to happen. I think that is a big thing in communication is listening to the other person, and making sure to respect their opinions. I think the best phrase goes all the way back to Elementary school where we learned to treat others how you want to be treated. We always think it is such a cheesy message, but it is a true one. If you want to be heard for your opinions and respected then you need to listen to others and respect their opinions. Overall I really enjoyed the legislator’s comments, and the advice they gave. My favorite is when they challenged us when someone says you can’t do something; laugh and show them that you can.

  • Ana Savva Garcia

    To accomplish and maintain strong and meaningful relationships with the people around me, I can find common ground between us and develop a trustworthy foundation so that in the future we can put our differences aside and work together to achieve a common goal, regardless of our views. I can also attend networking events and put myself out there so that I can reach a wide population and make myself someone that people can trust with their problems and can feel like I am someone they can always talk to. Aside from these two, I will always do the obvious, treat people with respect just like I would like to be treated, and always realize that just because me and someone else have different views on controversial topics, we can still work together and have a meaningful and respectful relationship.

  • Emily Patrick

    Community is one of the key aspects in leadership. No human is an island. The first thing you must realize when you assume a leadership role is that when you are a leader, you are carving a path for people. Looking at your community for input, advice, and inspiration is key. Engaging with your community is actually easier than it looks. Simply asking them how they are doing and what is something that you can try to fix. If you want to get all fancy and stuff, you can do something big and complex like a townhall forum kind of thing. All this to say that you can easily be engaged with your community, and that being engaged is vital to being a good leader.

  • Whisper McDoulett

    I believe that the key to building up and maintaining solid relationships in both personal and career aspects is to step out of your comfort zone. Many times in the past I have clung to certain groups of people who may look like me and share similar interests. These groups have given me great friends, but at the same time my growth relationally has been stunted. It was when I chose a different school than all of my friends back home, that I discovered how detrimental this trait of mine was. I came to the University of Central Oklahoma knowing no one. This forced me to branch out and finally be uncomfortable in the aspect of forming new relationships. This was the best thing that could have happened to me. I have met people from all different backgrounds and formed relationships with people I never would have thought to reach out to. I didn’t see it at the time, but stepping out of those easy, comfortable friendships taught me that branching out can be extremely rewarding. I will now be consistent in seeking new people to connect with, because I never know what they could teach me or what connections it may bring for the future.

  • Ella Strader

    In Fairview I was very involved in my community. I put together fundraisers and helped by volunteering in my home church. Now that I am in Edmond, I plan on engaging with others by going to events and getting involved with my sorority chapter. I am very passionate about the things I love and want to help others see my potential.

    I am an outgoing person and enjoy face to face conversations. I will be very welcoming and friendly here at UCO and be the person people can count on.

  • Jessica Caballero





    These are the traits that each representative chose as important in being a leader. I feel like when I’m in the community it is quite easy to engage with people by simply opening up and being able to converse with many people. One of my strengths is to be empathetic and relatable. I feel like my strengths will help build the relationships in the community. I also feel that when we build relationship we have to have loyalty to those relationships and care for it. We can’t burn bridges and make false promises. Trust is the hardest thing to earn and the easiest thing to lose.

  • Jessica Jones

    All of the speakers emphasized cooperation and gave wonderful advice on effective ways in which to facilitate it, from the specifics of simply knocking on doors or finding the place where those in the community are already involved, to some of the broader traits in a leader which form genuine connections with others, “empathy”, “confidence”, and “patience”. Something that I enjoyed most about the time was the speakers’ additional expression of the importance of knowing who you are as a leader and communicating with your leaders about your thoughts and feelings. I think these pieces of advice are also central building and maintaining effective relationships; extroverted or introverted, people are naturally drawn to those who possess these traits, and they allow for a genuine connection. I repeat this phrase because I have always prioritized it in my relationships with others. Regardless of how trivial or distant the relationship, be it my best friend or a stranger, I have found that being genuine, authentic, and purposeful in my actions is the best way make it a strong and meaningful connection. To be specific, these traits of patience, empathy, and confidence are critical to such authenticity, and through persistent engagement the various spheres of our passions (volunteerism, clubs, education, etc.) we can network by employing this same authenticity with our peers and our mentors. This week I will accomplish this by stopping by and connecting with a professor during their office hours, attending a club that I have been interested in and speaking directly with the president, and reconnecting with an acquaintance from high school that also attends UCO, but with whom I wish I had had a better connection.

  • Professionally, research the community you want to build connections with. Put on public events that meet the community’s needs/interests to meet new people and learn their stories and consistently try to keep up with them, as well as encouraging them to contact you (or possibly your office). Inform the people of resources that would be useful. If they know that they can go to you to find somewhere to get help, they will look at you with positive regard.

    To build meaningful relationships in your personal life, show up to things. Learn about events in your community and just go. Start chatting people up until they mention that they may need assistance/volunteers for events. Volunteering opens the doors to meet so many people from so many places, and you never know where that could take you.

    I did this exact thing with all of the Welcome Home Week/Stampede Week events and now I have wonderful connections in almost every office on campus. Even if I decided an event wasn’t something that interested me (i.e. Star Wars Movie Night) I would still volunteer and talk with my co-volunteers, many of whom I still keep up with.

  • Alondra Rios

    I believe that you could keep consistent engagement in your community by speaking to your neighbors actually helping them out. Also talking to as many people as possible. I feel like one of the biggest components is doing community work without thinking you will receive something out of it. I personally feel like if you do community service straight out of your heart other people will realize that and actually respect who you are. Along with that you will start building relationships you never thought you would’ve had.

  • Claire Hardin

    Edmond’s legislative delegation provided strong advice on how to use common ground to make progress. I can engage consistently in my community to accomplish strong and meaningful relationships through the connections I currently have and will continue to make on campus.

    Currently, I am very involved on campus. However, one organization, in particular, strikes me as useful to consistently engage in our community. It is called FOCUS. FOCUS stands for Fellowship of Catholic University Students, and I participate in weekly activities with the group in conjunction with St. John the Baptist Catholic Church here in Edmond. Through this group, I aim to serve others by imitating Jesus’ love. The end goal is to find those in the margins and bring light to their situation.

    At the center of my Catholic faith is a belief in giving of one’s self for another. By being a member of FOCUS, I have many opportunities to bring love into hurtful situations, peace into argumentative atmospheres, and help where hope is absent.

  • Jessica Lopez

    An important part of building relationships with anyone is consistency. Consistency is reassurance to the person that you’ll be there for them and you are someone they can rely on. I can engage consistency in my community by being dependable and being a friend they can go to. I can also engage consistency in my community by making any sort of change in my community such as cleaning up and helping my peers.

  • Emilee J Handy

    I think one of the ways to build and maintain relationships with people in the community around you would be social media. I think that social media can benefit these relationships by knowing when events are happening, and how to contact people. Secondly, I think that public events are a great way to foster these relationships. There is no better way to get to know people, than by spending time with them. Third, talking to people. This means reaching out for advice or just friendly conversations, not just when you need something. People appreciate being checked-in on, and it helps you stay up to date with their lives.

  • Oftentimes, I would see my neighbors outside exercising whether it be morning, afternoon or nighttime, I would say hi to them. It’s like the first step to talking to them and getting to know them. For example, everyday is a new surprise especially when I learn that my neighbor recently got a puppy or seeing adults whip out a green lightsaber with their kid in the front of my house. I see kids just driving their toy cars outside and the neighbor across from my house would often come over to pull my trash can down to the streets which is really nice and since Halloween is coming up, doors are open. This is a good way to talk to people while you are trick or treating and show off your costume and casually joke with them. It has gotten to the point where I’m really close with the neighbors like there was a day where a suspicious dark tinted window black suv drove into the neighborhood at 1pm and my neighbors alerted everyone in the neighborhood about it. It takes a while to know the neighbors but soon they will know your name and even your dog’s name. Not only that, I didn’t know there was a veterinarian living in my neighborhood. It is nice to see and know people. I’m going to be honest the more you know your neighbor, the bigger the jackpot of candies because I absolutely love candy. Also, helping each other in the neighbourhood is great too, especially when there is an app that the whole neighborhood uses to communicate like if I wanted to be a babysitter, someone would let me know if they needed a babysitter. As well as alert others where roads are closed or where car accidents occurred and possible party dates.

  • Marcus Evans

    I can stay engaged in my community and pursue new connections by being approachable, taking advantage of new opportunities, and treating others with respect. It is very important to have connections in both personal and professional matters. Making new connections on a personal level can be achieved with kindness and extroversion. For example, in a new setting, a good way to meet people and start building relationships is to simply strike conversations and treat them as friends. Making new connections on a professional level can be achieved with knowledge and respect. If opportunities are taken advantage of, you gain experience, treat people well, and demonstrate your intelligence, then relationships will be built.

  • Emma Cunningham

    I believe that one of the best ways to build community is to be present. Building relationships require you to be there and engaged in order for you to get to know people on a personal level. This would mean attending local events and getting to know people there. The real key is to be regular with your involvement in your community, like volunteering at the same location consistently. This allows you to not only give back to the people you’re around but see a wider demographic of people than you would at the organized community events. Lastly, I think it’s important to truly listen to people. This goes deeper than your normal day to day conversation, but hear whatever they’re ready to tell.

  • James Brison

    One way to be consistent in building relationships is by always being yourself, which obviously sounds very cliché. But if you form one relationship by pretending to have one type of personality, and create another one using a different personality, and so on, you will be unable to balance those different identities, which will lead to you not being able to establish who you really are in your partnerships. However, by being yourself all the time, everyone you meet will know just who you are. Strong and meaningful relationships to me are built majority on trust in my opinion. And by being yourself and allowing everyone around you to see who you truly are, that gives those people a much better reason to trust you.

  • Harrison Higdon

    Engaging consistently with a community can sound a bit overwhelming and may seem like a big commitment to some, but even if you are a more shy person, I strongly recommend always being involved in something. Whether that is a small organization, sports team, or work place. Working with others to reach a common goal is fantastic way to start to build relationships with peers. The more you cooperate with a group and engage in conversations will help lay the groundwork for building trust. Being able to have strong relationships is something no one should take for granted. Our time on earth is a lot shorter than we think and everyday isn’t a guarantee. Having those strong and personal relationships will make your journey through life so much easier. It is in the difficult and trying times when you look for those relationships to find strength. Live to remember, don’t live to regret.

  • Katherine Ryerson

    Building and maintaining relationships in personal and professional endeavors can be extremely beneficial. A few ways to do this is by personally getting to know people. Just like in last week’s blog post, the representatives talked about the importance of making personal connections with their community and other representatives. Similarly to what the representatives do, showing up to events and getting involved with your community is the best way to network. Meaningful relationships do not start out with a strong bond. These relationships are developed through personal connections and meaningful conversation. After time, the bonds start to form. It is vital that the relationships you create in your personal life also align with your professional life.

  • Hana Abdelhadi

    In order to engage successfully with the community, one must simply show up to things. Attending events is the foundation to meeting new people and getting to converse with those who may be different than you. Many people have a hard time putting themselves out there, and maybe they are also just shy. My advice for this is to do something that scares you, jump out of your comfort zone and surprise yourself! The speakers all emphasized their belief that establishing relationships with their constituents and fellow politicians have greatly helped them achieve their success. Because relationship building is so important, I have been trying to get out of my comfort zone by attending events on campus. I find myself talking and joking around with people that I just met 5 minutes beforehand. I think this is a great start for me personally, and I hope to become a well-known peer at UCO.

  • Isidro Fonseca

    Building relationships in your community can help you realize what type of community you are in. You get to know people from very different backgrounds than yours. People who have different ideologies. People who might be looking for change within the community and want to improve the community. Now, how can you engage in your community to build strong and meaningful relationships? I think it’s fundamental talking to your neighbors. HOA meetings are a great place to meet and know about your neighbors and community overall. Assisting events such as festivals in your community, carnivals, and public gatherings where you are able to socialize and observe the needs of the community will ultimately help you build those meaningful relationships.

  • David Harlin

    The legislative panel spoke a lot on the importance of building solid relationships with peers and with the people that they were elected to represent. One way that this can be accomplished is by being willing to talk with others of an opposing viewpoint, and even be willing to have your mind changed. Mike Osburn spoke on this extensively. He discussed the importance of constituents reaching out over the phone to talk about how they felt about certain issues. When these calls are received it is important to be willing to listen since these are the people that elected him to office.

  • Meralyn Staudt

    Community engagement and the development of meaningful relationships is vital to the success of any leader! Even as an introverted person, I really understand the necessity behind genuine connections with those around me. I think that one of the best ways to ensure that you are consistently interacting with your community is to find out what you are passionate about and engage with your environment that way. For example, if religion is relevant in your life, going out of your way to be involved in your place of worship and those within it is a great place to start. But no matter where you are spending your time, it is important to show up authentically and be present in the moment! This makes you more approachable and will lead to more meaningful interactions with people.

  • Tanner Trevino

    I believe there’s multiple things we as leaders can do to actively get involved in our local communities and form bonds within said communities, It was something I spoke directly to Rep. Ryan Martinez about and he gave me some assistance. We can go out and build relationships with our neighbors by helping them out whenever they need it, such as helping them carry groceries, mow the lawn, etc. Another way of engaging your community would be to contact local Representatives and officials and getting to know them, they’re human just like everyone else but often times treated as if they weren’t. An alternative to both of these would be to run for an elected position within the State or Federal government and trying to make a change(s) to your community and building genuine relationships through the help you provide to those whom need it most. The easiest way in my opinion would be to simply be yourself no matter what, authenticity is something I believe is fading these days with the rise of social media and is something I believe everyone appreciates.

  • Chance Palmer

    Since the beginning of humanity, humans have relied on each other to survive. We learned that being in a united group is better than trying to rough it alone. those truths are still as true today as they were then. People are so diverse when it comes to the way we think and feel. We have different physical and mental capabilities, we come from all across the world, and we all have different values, dreams, and beliefs that guides how we live our lives. Because of this, we can become divided which is relatively easy to do. That is why community and relationships are so immensely important in the world we live in. Sometimes we forget that people are human and that the experiences we have during our lives shapes everything about us. We are not what political parties we support, we are humans. It was nice to hear from the representatives that they value the opinions and views of the people who did not vote them into office. Our democracy is starved for people like them or at least it feels like it. One of the representatives mentioned that they knocked on 14,000 doors and went to an elderly home to speak with the older generations. I think these are very good ways to get to know your community and to make connections. I also think attending public events such as festivals, performances, sports, and meetings can really help to narrow the gap within a community. I think that the key to successful relationships is the ability to listen, consider, and value what someone else has to offer. Respect is always a good way to get things done. Anyone who has dreams of making a life out of politics should feel obligated to get to know those they are representing.

  • Kaylee Bjorkley

    I can engage consistently in my community to accomplish strong and meaningful relationships by showing empathy and concern to others. Knowing that individuals are different, you can’t interact with everyone the same. So by interacting from their point of view can show them that you care about what they are saying, therefore building a relationship of trust amongst your peers, and them knowing you will listen to them fully. I don’t have to agree with what everyone is spitting out but I can acknowledge their concerns without brutally asserting my own will onto theirs.

  • Ashley Jimenez

    I have had experiences of maintaining and building relationships in my community. Through my connections, I got my first job at the City of Hooker. They also gave me plenty of opportunities to show the town of Hooker my passion for singing, which I am thankful for. The relationship starting with being involved in the community and attempting to make it better for the future generations. Although I have to start clean here in Edmond, I will start small and build connections with my assigned nonprofit organization. Hopefully in the future, it expands to other organizations and high schools.

  • Cecilia Alali

    Being an effective leader means creating and investing in the community around you. Rep. Martinez urged us to go out and do something as simple as saying hello to your neighbors, which is easily overlooked when it comes to forming good relationships. Often times, I forget how pivotal a simple conversation can be. Connection fosters good community, and connection requires getting to know people past the surface level. As a leader, I can work on making meaningful conversations a priority when I can.

  • Jentri Jordan

    A great way to be engaged in your community is through volunteer opportunities. As well as giving back to your community, volunteering is a great way to make connections. Making connections with people can lead to productive, lasting relationships that can impact organizations within your community as well as yourself. Through volunteer opportunities doors can be opened to serve on committees and boards that will further your involvement and increase your ability to make a difference in the areas you are passionate in serving. They can also lead to job opportunities. When you have good relationships with people, it becomes easier to network through job openings, and you are more likely to be offered a job, instead of having to apply. As you are building relationships people will see you as a trustworthy person that you can be relied on to carry out the necessary roles within the organization. Building relationships and making connections with people can be one of the easiest, and most rewarding ways to build leadership qualities.

  • I can engage consistently in my community to accomplish strong and meaningful relationships by reaching out to fellow classmates, coworkers, and by going to nursing homes. Also, by giving back to your community through volunteerism. Moreover, meaningful relationships can be built even if you do not always agree by finding a common ground. In addition to this by understanding differentiality. Lastly, working together, whether it is a community project or at work, allows the accomplishment of meaningful relationships.

  • Miranda McLean

    We had the wonderful opportunity to hear from Oklahoma State Representatives-Edmond Delegation’s very own Mike Osburn, Nicole Miller, Ryan Martinez, and Preston Stinson, and their journey to leadership in politics. While each Representative was able to agree that you should not be afraid to meet people and get out there to accomplish strong and meaningful relationships, they all were able to dive into different ways to build these relationships.

    Representative Stinson and Representative Miller both discussed finding commonality among the people in our community. Mr. Stinson helped us understand that when you meet new people, they are not always going to agree with you on everything. In order to build these strong relationships, we must communicate and understand their perspective as well. Mrs. Miller spoke on the fact that, similar to Stinson, we need to work together to find the commonality. While this seems like common sense to most, it is something that we tend to look over, and both Representatives made it clear that it is one of the most important parts of the leadership process.

    In their own ways, Representatives Osburn and Martinez put a spotlight on the importance of honesty. Mr. Osburn explained that in order to see change and ultimately build a relationship among our community, we need to come forward, speak up, and be honest about what we believe in. Mr. Martinez warned us about people who will be brutally honest with us, but at the end of the day, it’s what we need to help us grow. Both helped us discover that we shouldn’t be discouraged and to step up.

    Through each of these discussions, we were able to find elements that play a vital role in building a stronger community. Not only are we rewarded with meaningful relationships, but we are able to discover the empathy, confidence, and patience that we might not have been able to recognize before.

  • Isabel Baker

    My goal for this year is to not only meet ad many people as possible but to establish a strong relationships with those that are willing. Even if I meet people who are not in my career field, I will never know the opportunities I may have missed if I did not get to know them better. Connections are crucial in leadership as it helps build a trust between two people. This foundation of trust can help with further projects and any endeavors that may come. You can engage in your community by volunteering but not just volunteering. You need to be open and communicative to those around you or else you will just be another face in the crowd. I will strive to put myself out there so I can be my best self.

  • Kathryn Plunkett

    I remember Ryan Martinez speaking about attending community events and even knocking on neighbors doors while he was campaigning. I think that this is perfect advice to engage in your community even if one is not campaigning for any position.
    I can begin to develop strong and meaningful relationships with those around me in many different ways. The first way would be to step outside of my usual crowd and not be afraid to get to know new people I haven’t before. It is very important to not get stagnant or satisfied with who I’ve met, but be eager to meet more people.
    The second way to establish these relationships is to genuinely remember the people I have met. If I can remember the names of others, or even get their contact information, this leads to the development of a greater connection and possible encounters in the future.
    Lastly, it is so important to be engaged, be ready to listen to those around me, and allow myself to let others know me. This is key to the development of long-lasting relationships.

  • Jayson Raj

    I would say that the best and most steady way to interlace in your community is by consistently being present at events around your area. This can be by going to most, if not all, the events that are being thrown around you and make yourself present there, talking to people and making connections, and grow and check in on these relationships. By doing this, you show yourself as a strong leader and someone who can be trustworthy and dependable. As a result, more people will come to you for advice and support, and you can go to them for any needs that you need that they can assist with. I would also say, as Representative Martinez said, go out and talk to the people around you. Knock on their door, make small talk, or even helping them can grow and build relationships. By showing them that you want to help and want to engage with them, they will feel more comfortable around you and start to open up to engage with you. Also, to build relationships, you can not judge anyone, as everyone has a different background. Especially when working with others, you need to find the middle ground that both sides can agree on. And with this, not to argue or fight with them, as this can severely hurt and destroy relationships.

  • Tori Hoffman

    Maintaining and creating relationships with people has always been on of my passions. The connections that are made can lead to personal development, professional success, and a overall wellbeing. One of the things that I do to engage with my community is find people that you can relate to. A few examples could be going to church every Sunday and getting to know the people, volunteering at places within your community that you are passionate about, or joining an organization that you have some interest in. You can then build off of that by meeting people that don’t necessarily share your same views or values.

    After you have made that initial connection, you then need to show up. It can truly be that simple as long as you are kind and attentive. Relationships are never going to be perfect but if you put in the effort to show up and show kindness, it definitely makes it better.

  • Jackson Lehew

    Life runs on relationships. To build these relationships you first have to initiate them. You can not just wait for a relationship to form, you have to be intentional with it. All of the legislators while campaigning went door to door to make connections and start relationships to people in their community. You have to communicate to maintain a strong relationship. Taking time to see someone else’s point of view is a way to show empathy and be a good leader. These legislators would take time out of their day to listen to questions and concerns their community member have about certain things that are going on. A relationship is built on trust. If you can trust a person to do what is best for you, your family, and your community then that is how you know you have accomplished a strong and meaningful relationship.

  • Cheyanne Young

    I can engage consistently in my community by volunteering. I know that back in my hometown I felt more connected with my community when I volunteered. Volunteering allows for people to make meaningful connections with one another by engaging in philanthropy and building connections. Some ways I can get involved in my community and build those connections are volunteering at my local homeless shelter and volunteering at hospitals. I can say from my past volunteering experiences that, being active in the community you live in creates strong bonds between people.

  • Amaya Coleman

    I can accomplish strong and meaningful relationships by getting involved in my community. I can do this by going to town meetings, rallies, and even school board events. Also, by talking to people in charge who can actually make a difference. I can make sure they know my face and if I have a concern I can talk to them about it.

  • Christina Bejoy

    Being present and intentional with one’s time is the most important way one can build and maintain relationships. Building relationships takes time and energy from the different parties involved in the situation, thus spending time getting to know someone’s personal journey, attending events together or just sharing a meal can help build relationships. One the other hand, maintaining such relationships can be more difficult when the different parties have various responsibilities. However, being flexible with one’s time or being approachable can be the best ways to maintain a relationship. I can engage consistently in my community, by attending various community events and using the community library and other resources to meet knew people. I consider it my responsibility, as a leader in my community, to reach out to the people in my community in order to maintain such relationships. This can be done by “finding the grays of commonality” and accepting the different perspectives present in the community.

  • Casey Merrill

    I think that the first place to start is by being friendly to others to make friends. Be honest about yourself and be genuine in the relationships you make with the community. Make time to get to know the people around you and offer help. Ask people questions and show that your genuinely trying to know them. remember not everyone is the same or thinks the same way.

  • Jimmy Davison

    I can start to do more advocacy work, such as volunteering or going to more protests such as BLM to support causes I believe in so I can improve my community and establish strong relationships with people who also want to help the community.

  • Olivia Shults

    I believe it was representative Martinez who when asked ‘how do to you get to know those in your community?’ responded by saying the best way to get to know your neighbors is talking to your neighbors. I believe the best way I can engage my community is starting by getting to know those around me. Community is something that has always been important to me, along with finding out new ways to build strong connections with those I am around. One way to build relationships with those around you is to not only talk to people, but to listen to people. Often in today’s society people tend to do a lot of talking but forget to listen. Listening to people is a great way to build a connection with someone, while also learning what people believe in and learning new ways to look at things. Building a connection with those in your community will help you to grow as a stronger leader.

  • Jayden Batcheller

    I can engage in my community consistently with volunteer work. Volunteering, although I do have required hours, is a big part of my life. I love to do it and I love seeing the impact it has had. Volunteer work will help me accomplish strong and meaningful relationships by opening me up to networking opportunities. The more volunteering I do and the more places I volunteer for the more people I will meet and serve. Networking allows me to put my name into the world and see what the world has to offer. I have already met some amazing people from engaging in my community and I hope to meet many more.

  • Kelsey Sanchez

    In order for me to accomplish strong and meaningful relationships I believe it is important to talk to people in the community and ask questions. I would show my community that I care for them and they are important by asking questions and hearing their feedback on what they need. I would attend community functions and introduce myself, make connections, and just simply tell people about myself. Most importantly I would involve my community and make sure they know that their opinions matter and their input is important to me. I would come up with community activities that brought people together. I believe bringing the community together can build and maintain strong relationships.

  • Roy Angele Kubwimana

    The three ways that I can use to have a strong and meaningful relationship are to meet people at their comfort zone, to be the one who start the conversation, and try to find a common ground with the community I am serving.

  • Kelci Hoffman

    Simply by showing up to community events/functions can increase the likelihood of developing and maintaining strong relationships (personal or professional). By letting people know that you are willing to show up and be productive does a lot for relationships. For someone like me, very introverted, showing up is a difficult task. I understand how much it takes so when people go out of their way to show up for me I appreciate their effort.

  • Adrian Smith

    One of the best ways to consistently keep strong and meaningful relationships is by keeping mutual respect for one another opinions and beliefs. By keeping mutual respect for one another opinions a community can make forward progress to a singular goal. This becomes much more difficult to do when there are multiple options on how to move forward. One good way to prevent that is by having discussions with one another so that people in community settings have a better understanding of one another. The more you understand about someone the more ways you can make connections, whether they are good or bad.

  • mariam Ourani

    I think it’s really important for leaders or anyone in a leadership position to be able to connect to those around them including their community. Building connections, and being trusted by those around you is only going to take you further in life. I feel like its very critical to always check up on your team and remind them that there opinions are valid and important to you. Also bonding with those who work with you at appropriate times is also very vital in my opinion because people will start to feel more comfortable around you, and could overall increase their comfortability in the work environment. This could help people express there creativity and thoughts that may benefit everyone in the end.

  • Alexander Rackley

    I believe the best way to find and build relationships is to find what you are passionate about. Once you do that, find other people who are passionate about that thing, and create a community out of that. Whether it’s knitting, driving, ping pong, or rock and roll, find those people who enjoy those things and work together to make sure you get to show them and other why y’all are passionate about those things. Because once you find those people, being a leader becomes a 1000x easier. and why not be a leader in something you love?

  • Alexander Rackley

    I believe the best way to find and build relationships is to find what you are passionate about. Once you do that, find other people who are passionate about that thing, and create a community out of that. Whether it’s knitting, driving, ping pong, or rock and roll, find those people who enjoy those things and work together to make sure you get to show them and other why y’all are passionate about those things. Because once you find those people, being a leader becomes a 10x easier. and why not be a leader in something you love?

  • alexis aguinaga

    I liked how the legislators really harped on how important it is to have a healthy work and family work balance. You should be working to live not living to work. I agree on the importance of having a good personal life. The amount of time you spend with friends and family matters. Especially with a job that is literally working for the people like being a legislature it is important to have a good relationship with the people. the thoughts and feelings of your communities matter and to have a good relationship with them matters. The amount of time you take to form good personal relationships matter.

  • Gaby Ramirez

    Before coming into college I had a hard time believing that I could build strong relationships with the community here at UCO, simply because I was afraid to myself out there. Within the few weeks I’ve been here, I’ve realized that these relationships and the UCO community will bring many benefits to myself. Community building lies within the relationships you form with others. I plan on being involved in my organization, and not just being in the organization. I want to make myself useful to the organizations I’m in by providing my help at volunteering events. By regularly going to events and meeting people there, relationships are bound to form. Being a genuine open minded person is how I plan on building these connections.

  • Zain Whitlock

    A great way to keep in touch with your community is to reach out and get a response. People tend to like someone more who cares about meeting someone face to face, while getting their response helps them feel like they have been heard. And also benefits you for having people you know to support you and will vote for you when the time comes for you to get into a better position than you already have.