Lessons in Leadership Week 5-Mayor Darrell Davis

Mayor Davis discussed many key aspects of effective leadership. One piece he emphasized in particular was that as a leader, you will not get to where you want to be by yourself-it is important to surround yourself with mentors, friends, family, coaches, etc. that encourage you and can be a sounding board. How are you going to be intentional throughout your time in college to ensure you are surrounding yourself with individuals who will help you get to where you want to be as a leader?


  • Kinesey Sherman

    Mayor Davis spoke the truth! The fact that he talked about his mentors and how they pushed him to pursue new opportunities demonstrates the truth of what he said about the need for people. For me, my family and friends are always there to support me and help me in times of need. I am intentional about not only receiving but also giving support back. Any worthwhile endeavor in life requires the help of a village. Our success is dependent on the support of the right people.

  • Breanna Henry

    I have always prioritized my close group that I rely on for all of my life changes and big decisions. I agree with Mayor Davis 100% that you cannot get to where you want to be without somebody beside you. Although when you say it like that it sounds defeating, but it is really not. One of the most important parts of leadership is having somebody who knows who you are as a person, and can hold you accountable. I keep my family and friends very close to my heart and rely on their opinions heavily because I know that they have my best interest at heart. So far in my time in college I have been very intentional with how often I go home to visit them, I call them often to stay updated on all of their lives and keep them updated on mine. I hope I am able to keep that line of communication open and healthy, because they are truly what keep me grounded.

  • Gracie Barnett

    Having a support system is essential for accomplishing our goals. We need people who are going to build us up when we are down and push us to be better than we are. I think it is very important to surround yourself with people who have similar goals as you. In order for me to get to where I want to be as a leader, the best thing is to surround myself with other leaders. Surrounding myself with other leaders from LOT and PLC is the key to my success as a leader. This way we can accomplish our goals together and really help each other along the way.

  • Chase Sutton

    I believe that I have already succeeded and failed at this question in just the first few weeks of being on the UCO campus. Coming into UCO I already knew who I wanted in my circle and those people have given me nothing but love and support and I hope to keep them around for many years to come. However, on the other side of that narrative, I have met people who carry loads of negative energy that I do not want to surround myself with at this point in my life. I think that me being able to recognize these qualities in people that I have surrounded myself with so early on in college will help me weed out the people who have ill-intent and surround myself with nothing but positivity.

  • I feel like I have been already making these intentional friends. Throughout high school I learned a lot about myself and friendships. Coming to college is a whole new start and new people to become close too. I have made sure that the people I’ve started to truly let in are people that have similar values and have goals in life. I also think it is my time to really take advantage of all the great leaders I have around me whether it be in PLC, working at the office of Tours and Events, or being involved in different organizations. There are older students there and ready to help guide you in your path through college.

  • Zach Kernal

    In order to surround myself with people who are encouraging and will help me get to where I want to be as a leader and in my career, I have been, and am going to talk to as many people who have experience in the kind of work I want to do and ask them how they did it. As an Art Education major I really enjoy talking with professors about education in general and their personal philosophies on it. In the future I plan on having many more conversations like that with many different types of people. Every time I have a conversation with someone who shares my passion for the arts or public education I get even more eager to have my own classroom one day, and I believe in order to be a good leader, you need to be happy where you are. Having conversations about what my plans for the future are, things I’m passionate about, or listening to what others are passionate about, has already been pushing be to work to be my best and to really put in the work to be able to be a strong leader in the future. I believe if I continue to have conversations about how the people I admire got to where they are today, I will be on the path to becoming the leader I want to be.

  • Jenna Gaberino

    It is true that the people you surround yourself with can influence your future. This is why it is important to guarantee the people you choose will lift you up rather than bring you down. You need people that you can count on to be there for you and that have your best interests at heart. I surround myself with people I enjoy being around and that have good intentions and mutual trust between us. It is equally important to surround yourself with mentors and to be a mentor to others where you can.

  • Isabel Celedon

    In my opinion, I think that the most intentional thing to do is always express your true self. I believe that you attract people like you and if you’re always trying to be someone you are not, you’re going to attract the wrong crowd. As students in leadership councils and roles, we are going to surround ourselves with other leaders or motivators who will push us to be our best selves. With this, everyone has various leadership styles, and you can learn through experience and grow more as a leader. In the end, I think that always being yourself is beneficial because you surround yourself with people you may share similar values with and push you to be the leader you want to be.

  • Kaylie McClintock

    Before this class I did not realize that you could chose your mentors. I thought they were just people who were placed in our lives. However, I have realized that when there is an individual who I admire and think ‘I want to be more like them’, it is okay to tell them that. It is okay to ask questions or even introduce myself. We are surrounded by many people everyday. If we are not intentional with who we grow our relationships with, we could end up trusting someone who will advise us poorly and lead us down the wrong road. I am excited to seek out people with the traits that I lack, who can help me to be the person I want to be because I can not get there on my own!

  • Blair Majors

    Something that I came into college striving to find, were intentional and genuine people who would be like mentors towards me. I have been able to find these relationships by being apart of organizations that have great people for me to look up to. The advisors and other students in the organizations I am apart of hold me accountable and show me what it means to be an intentional leader for others. I stay intentional in my relationships with the people who act as mentors towards me so that they can help me to stay focused on who and where I want to be. Being in a sorority also helps me to surround myself with people who have leadership qualities that I admire.

  • Emma Martinez

    I believe the best way for me to stay intentional is by finding groups or communities within UCO that have similar goals. Getting to be around like-minded people can be motivating. It can also be a networking opportunity and even support through tough moments. Another way is by staying in touch with my family. They have supported me through the college experience because they know it is something I have always wanted and cared about, so reaching out to them whenever I’m going through hard moments is relieving. The final way is by reminding myself why I do what I do. Sometimes, is easy to get lost in the routine and feel stuck after a while. Allowing time for myself to relax can really help me decompress and refocus on my goals as a student and as leader.

  • Carsyn Cardwell

    I have already found some great people that are encouraging and inspiring through different organizations on campus. One thing about being in college is that we get to choose who we want to surround ourselves with and find people that love us for our authentic selves. I have found great friendships and people that I look up to in both my sorority and LOT. I have found many people that share the same interest in leadership and being active in our community. These people push me to be a better person and grow as an individual. I will continue to seek out relationships like these in all organizations I choose to be a part of throughout college and my life after college.

  • Alisyn Dunn

    I think surrounding yourself with good people is very relative, because no one brings someone into their life thinking they are going to be bad for them. However, to make sure I avoid bad people I will make sure I can trust them with time and I will genuinely get to know the people in my life. I think most of the time people can be too trusting to those that they do not know. I think I also have a hard time trusting someone so when I finally do I know for sure that they are a good person. Surrounding yourself with good people is most of what’s important in college. Having people around you that are going to make you better and make you try harder are vital parts of college. I think I have been lucky enough to already find my people. I cannot fully answer this question because a part of finding your people is a feeling. When you’re around them you feel like yourself and you feel heard. Find people that make you feel like that and then you’ve found your people.

  • Ashley Wood

    I have said this a thousand times, but it’s because it’s true. You cannot lead without knowing who you are leading. To me, community is the biggest part of leadership. While you can always use your community to broaden your horizons, it’s important to not pursue people based on what they can give to you. I think it is wonderful to have many friends, I have about fifty people that I could call my friends. However, when it comes to close friends, I have three. I don’t choose to surround myself with people who don’t want me to succeed. Individuals who don’t want to see their friends and community grow are not people who I want to be around. I think choosing kindness and creating a close community that loves and supports you is the best way to ensure a good college, and life, experience.

  • Halle Melton

    Darrell Davis was a great speaker to sit and listen to. He has such a genuine character and I loved getting to hear some of his advice on how to climb the ladder of life. His token advice of learn the rules of the game are super applicable all around. You can’t succeed in life if you don’t know the ins and outs of your career and self. And as a leader, knowing who you lead is even more relevant. Knowing yourself, people, and game were all great strategies of a leader.

  • Olivia Sander

    Mayor Davis expressed his thoughts and views wonderfully about his opinions on being a leader. I think that we should be surrounding ourselves with people who not only lead like us but understand when they need to take charge and vice versa. We can do that by getting out of our comfort zones and meeting new people. By meeting new people we can then find our people who help us lead like we want to. I personally have found a few people and have really tried to invest in their lives and they have given the same energy and commitment back. Therefore going out of your way to meet someone is a good way to make a best friend who also leads like you.

  • Grace Hibbs

    This question is something I haven’t thought about before. I’ve always surrounded myself with positive, supportive people, but I haven’t ever taken into consideration what aspects those people have that could help me become the leader I want to be. I think the best way to discover that is to first pinpoint the areas I struggle with as a leader, and one of the biggest ones for me is my confidence. I’ve found that I get anxious about taking on new opportunities and leading new people. Knowing this, I can be intentional with the people I surround myself with by making sure they’re people that build me up and push me to say yes to things. Additionally, finding myself a mentor-like friend that’s already completed most of their leadership journey here in college and that can provide me advice would be extremely helpful. I think being in PLC and this leadership class is the perfect way for all of us to find those people. Furthermore, I also need to be intentional about cutting people off that hold me back. For example, if a friend isn’t supportive of the impact I’m trying to make on campus and doesn’t care to hear about the things I’m doing as a leader, that could end up discouraging me. It’d be better to distance myself from them in order to drive myself forward instead of allowing that negativity to hold me back. Overall, it’s important that I surround myself with leaders in order to become a better leader because we can all learn from each other’s experiences.

  • Adjoa Yeboah

    Trying to make an impact on those around you is definitely not something to be taken lightly. Keeping yourself motivated as well as motivating others takes a lot of hard work and persistence, but it is one of my main goals while I’m here at UCO. Being in PLC has already helped me to become a more confident leader, and I hope that that confidence will grow over time, so it can impact those around me. Having a positive outlook life is one of the ways that I will be intentional with those that I impact. Focusing on the different perspectives of life can help me to be a person who leads with love and trust for others. It is not always easy to put yourself out there, but it is extremely rewarding in the end.

  • Sam Gillis

    The way I would be intentional on who I surround myself with people that will help me succeed is just by being observant to others, themselves, and their passion. You need all three of these to be in good order before you can lead. If you have poor relationships with others it does not matter how passionate you are or if you treat yourself right who are you gonna lead without relationships. Next if you treat others right and have passion in your life but have a poor mindset of yourself you wont get far. You’ll be stuck in your own head holding yourself back whether you know it or not. Finally if you treat others right and have a good self relationship but don’t have passion then why even lead. People also would not be willing to follow when they see the leader does not truly care. Throughout college and life I will look for people who have all three of these things checked or have potential to have all of these boxes checked. If you treat people fairly, have a good mindset about yourself, and have passion for what you do nothing will stop you.

  • Erin Jaison

    Finding people that will bring the best out of you and will always motivate and support you is hard. As I meet people here in college, I don’t know who will stay with me in the long run and who I will learn from. I see it as some people come into your life to teach you something while some stay through it all with you. During my college years I want to surround myself with people that will push me out of my comfort zone and support me in what I value. And as I meet people that won’t stay the whole time with me, I will cherish what they taught me into becoming the leader I want to be. Using the impact they left on me, I will improve myself so they next person that I meet will eventually stay for a while.

  • Kathryn Irwin

    the mayor’s speech hit home for me in serval ways. I have always had the goal to make my envroiment as possible and be as open towards people as possible. I feel like a sounding board for serval people. Thanks to my parents I have had a hugely diverse sounding board growing up. My dad said to me once, “that being the dumbest person in the room Is the smartest desion you can make and if you are not observe like you are.” My dad is the person who never sees himself as above anyone. He came from me even when he’s in a leadership position is it from waitors, construction, garbage persons; who ever he learns their story, he he tries remember all their names.I get a wider understanding of the world because they feel connected to my dad because people feel apreciated and respected by him and my famliy .I have gotten so many expericances because of him being kind. i thought it was weird when I was younger, but now I plan to use this philosophy in college and for the rest of my life. My dad is one of the most successful men I know; I think this is why.

  • Marissa Bumgarner

    Mayor Davis greatly encouraging to have mentors in our lives because that is the gateway to pursue our goals in the future. Throughout my life I have had many great mentors that have helped get me to where I am today. In my opinion, surrounding yourself with people that you admire or look up to is a positive starting place. I have found for myself that being active in organizations that I am passionate about has lead me to finding people that have pushed me to achieve my goals and aspirations. Lastly, I think being true to yourself and being transparent is going to help find the right people to look up to and follow for future years.

  • Marian Simon Coric

    Major Davis describes his difficult life journey, in which he repeatedly had mentors who did not look like him, but in his own way he was able to learn a lot from them. He told us about understanding the rules of the game to become an effective leader. Understanding the rules of the game means, listen actively, understand the culture you are living in and put things in your toolbox. Leaders always put things in thei toolbox to evolve themselfes and become more effective. He also mentioned that familiy is the key for succes, because noone can be succesful completely alone.

  • Milana Khaikhan

    If there is one life advice that you should always follow, it is to surround yourself with positive people. That’s why it will make your life better.Surrounding yourself with positive people is the best life lesson you can live
    Of all the tips on how to improve your life, the one that tells you to surround yourself with positive people is by far the best. It will not only be better for your happiness, but it will also change your life for the better in many ways. That’s why you should definitely work to surround yourself with positive people.
    1 You will be more positive.
    2 Your personal life will improve.
    3 Your working life will get better.
    4 You will be more willing to try new things.
    5 Stress will dissipate.
    6 it will be easier to solve problems.
    7 You will be more satisfied with life.
    8 You will have more success.

  • Bryce Atkins

    I am going to be intentional throughout my time in college by ensuring that I join organizations that align with my interests and who I want to be as a leader. Joining these organizations will surround me with people that share the same values as me. This will help me to find others with leadership styles that I admire and can look up to. Through these organizations, I will also be able to ask my peers who they look to as mentors and get involved that way. I am also going to try and be involved in PLC as much as I can because there are so many different personalities and leadership styles that can be learned from. This will help me to develop my own personal leadership style that is using what I have learned from others, but that is also unique to me.

  • Lily-Marie Fraley

    I was taught that college is the period of our lives where we make lifelong connections. Being involved with Leadership Central and other groups are helping me grow my leadership skills. Also, to grow in my healthcare profession, I have been trying to be involved with clincis off campus. Surrounding myself with people to learn from has become a priority because this is the time in my life where I’m trying to figure out who I am. I’m learning and growing to become the best version of myself. It’s important to be involved because not only am I learning from others, I also have the opportunity to lead others.

  • Jesse Brooks

    I am intentionally setting myself up in the future by surrounding myself with leaders in the organizations I am in. I think that mayor Davis is right in that you grow from the relationships you form and the people you surround yourself with. I chose to surround myself with people from three different organizations based on leadership. I am in ROTC which is part of the military. In the military leadership and structure are what they are all about. I have made it so that I am learning from people who have spent their life in leadership or learning from those in leadership. I am also in PLC and baseball and they are organizations where leadership is critical to their structure.

  • Bergen Bailey

    The first thing that comes to mind when surrounding myself with others to improve my leadership skills, is having similar goals or values. As a leader, setting goals and having strict values are essential. You can never have unset values and be a great leader. Surrounding yourself with others that share goals and values will help you and others succeed. You have to have the courage to stand up for yourself and finding friends with similar goals is the first step.

  • Caroline Cowherd

    In college, we have the unique opportunity to decide who we want in our lives and the impact they can make on us. To captivate an environment of individuals who inspire growth, we must be intentional with our relationships. This isn’t always easy, especially in college. The newness of everyone and everything can be difficult to navigate. However, by just being authentic you can find intentional communities. This includes actively participating in organizations that challenge you, surrounding yourself with friends that encourage you, and taking the time to learn about yourself.

  • Norah Stephenson

    Before coming to college my family has been extremely important to me. They have been the ones that have enabled me to get where I am today. However it wasn’t until the first couple weeks of college that I realized how much I also needed good friends to pour into me and who I can pour into as well. Throughout college I am going to be more intentional in reaching out to others, whether it just be a quick text, being more vulnerable with others, or even just being more intentional in my time with others. I also hope to also find or foster relationships with people that I can truly mentor and who can mentor me.

  • Kama Wyatt

    I am of the full belief that you are who you surround yourself with. Because of this, I am very intentional about who I choose to spend the majority of my time with. I liked that Mayor Davis emphasized this notion, as I’ve found it to be true. By surrounding myself with amazing mentors and friends that heartened me to grow in highschool, I found success. This is something I plan to do in college as well. Throughout my next four years at UCO, I will surround myself with people that encourage and push me to be the best version of myself. People like those in PLC, who I’ve come to love because this community empowers each other as leaders.

  • Lauren Clark

    Throughout my time in college one of my main goals is to create a support system for myself filled with people who help me want to become the best version of myself. Moving sixteen hours away from all my family and friends leaves room for me to start from scratch when looking for people to form my new support system. Although I have found many great people and resources, I have also found that I must be intentional with whom I surround myself with. One key piece of information I learned from Mayor Davis’ talk is that it is important to surround yourself with smarter, better, people. But while being influenced by these people you must also remain true to your own beliefs and values. So, when selecting people to be a part of your support system I have found if you notice your values starting to slip, this said person might not be the best for your personal support group. Self-awareness is also a key factor when determining who you are and who you want to make up your support system. So, throughout college it is my goal to stay true to myself, surround myself with the best people I can, and work to make a positive impact on Edmond.

  • Lane Willoughby

    I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I would make true friends in college. I have come to the conclusion that true friendships take trust. I believe that there will be people I automatically click with but we need to have a trustful relationship to continue to help each other stick to our morals through and past college. I always feel the best in friendships whenever I can be myself and go to them for what I am struggling with, from the small stuff to the big stuff. If I feel in my gut that a friend is not truly showing their intentions and wanting me to be my best, then I will not be inviting them to my inner circle. But for the people I find that really do show these things then I know we can succeed.

  • Conner Mclaughlin

    The way i am keeping myself on the path to being a leader in college is by surrounding myself with friends who have different interests, career paths, beliefs, wants, desires, cultures, and learning about all of these items. Not only does it make me a better friend, it makes me a better leader by knowing what people need and where these needs come from, and how to give them what they need. Learning who keeps you pointed in the right direction can be extremely easy or extremely difficult, though. Sometimes people will pull you back from where you need to go, or put you on a path you shouldn’t be on. But as a leader it’s your job to know which paths you shouldn’t be on and which paths you shouldn’t be pulled from in order to lead others down the right paths. Surrounding yourself with people who believe in you, are honest with you, trust you, and are all around genuine friends is the best way to ensure you’re growing in the right way as a leader in college

  • Abby Harelson

    As Darrell said very clearly, it is very important to surround yourself with a positive and encouraging community. Sometimes we have friends who aren’t pushing us to do the right things, or better yet, are dragging down our potential to be better leaders. As individuals who are very capable of leading, we need to be adamant about who the people in our inner circle are. And, without a positive and loving community to build us up and support us (even when things go south), I believe we cannot get very far on our own. Mayor Davis made it an important point to say we can’t do “life” things by ourselves.

  • Jacob McBride

    One of the biggest reasons I was excited to come to college was to build new relationships and make new connections. Ever since move in day I have tried to reach out to as many fellow students as I could, trying to network myself out onto the campus. I have been blessed by getting into Leaders of Tomorrow, where I have already made countless friends and hope to build relationships with future colleagues. Another way I am trying to branch out is I am joining the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Between alumni and active members all across the world, this alone is a great resource. Building these new relationships has taught me that branching out can always be a positive. I am excited to see what future relationships I am brought by this university.

  • Ahlaam Elmi

    The best way is to know myself and what i want to achieve.knowing people that will benefit me in getting to my dream and not people that will deter me. this means surrounding myself with people that want to achieve there dreams rather distract or devalue my dreams. i want to be with people that see my vision not ones that keep me form it, so friends that motivate me rather than diminish my dreams. talking and keeping in touch with professors, mentos , as well as my family, as they should be there to encourge and advise you. i have too keep myself in check to not get distracted too often as it will happen, thought the important point is coming back to my aim. knowing that I need support from family, mentos is vital aspect in becoming successful.

  • Eli Payton

    I think the first step in surrounding yourself with good people that will help you accomplish your goals is given to us in the question. The first step is being intentional, so many people go through life making friends of the people that they find comfort with, not the ones that will challenge them. This is a mistake, we should not solely choose who we spend our time with based on how little we have to think while around them. This is why it is so essential to start looking to surround ourselves with people that challenge us and not those who encourage mediocracy. It is only after acknowledging this soft social barrier of low expectations that we can break it and start making progress on the question asked. The second step in this process is evaluating what your personal goals are, and subsequently looking to find those people that are now where you want to be in these avenues of life. These are the people that we need to actively look for opportunities to spend time with.

  • Chloe Falls

    In order to be intentional throughout college and surround oneself with individuals that can help further a leadership career, it is important to really get to know those surrounding you. One of my favorite parts of college so far has been all of the wonderful people I have met. It is crazy to think that a lot of these people could be coworkers or people I network with over the course of my career. Having motivational people surround you during these years is extremely important for anyone hoping for success. Being intentional with relationships is always important, but during this time it can be smart to think about what you can learn from others and what skills you can perfect with the advice from a mentor or coach. Having a mentor during this time can help one find the most important things to focus on, and always knowing you have someone to turn to in times of trouble can be comforting. I plan to continue to get to know fellow leaders around campus, as well as potential leaders to help inspire me and help me grow as a leader.

  • Jackson Mckinney

    One thing that I have learned throughout my life, both by experience and by being told it by others, is that you become like the people you spend time with. One example in my life where I realized this was true, was when I became more dedicated when I found friends that loved their work, seeing them be so productive and work hard inspired me to do better. I have made it a goal to surround myself with people that are similar to how I strive to be and that will inspire me to continue to grow. I will reach this goal by joining organizations with leaders I can learn from, making friends that help me progress, and listening to leaders when I get the chance. Everyone needs help to become the person they want to be, and that is what I intend to do.

  • Jackson Mckinney

    One thing that I have learned throughout my life, both by experience and by being told it by others, is that you become like the people you spend time with. One example in my life where I realized this was true was when I became more dedicated when I found friends that loved their work, seeing them be so productive and work hard inspired me to do better. I have made it a goal to surround myself with people that are similar to how I strive to be, and that will inspire me to continue to grow. I will reach this goal by joining organizations with leaders that I can learn from, making friends that help me progress, and listening to leaders when I get the chance. Everyone needs help to become the person they want to be, and that is what I intend to do.

  • Cooper Autry

    I believe the key to surrounding yourself with mentors, friends, family, coaches, etc., is to seek those relationships out. There have been plenty of times in my life when I have gone to trusted people and asked for their help or advice, and more often than not, when I ask for advice and/or help from others, they are more than happy to offer it. Additionally, it is key to remember the saying: what goes around, comes around. If we want mentors and trusted people we can count on in our lives, we must be that person for other people. In other words, we should do our best to give our advice and offer help to others. And, in doing so, the same is more likely to be reciprocated when we are the ones needing advice. Throughout my time in college, I am going to be intentional to ensure I am surrounding myself with individuals who will help me get to where I want to be as a leader by seeking out advice and giving advice (as I mentioned above), as well as leading with integrity, working with others, and ultimately showing those who could be mentors that I am serious about being a leader. Ultimately, I will show that I am continually putting effort into becoming a better leader. When others see my drive and determination to continue to be a better leader, that, in my opinion, shows potential and growth, and that potential and growth will most likely persuade those potential mentors to become true mentors that can help me continue to grow and improve as a leader.

  • Kade Williams

    I surround myself with many leaders through PLC and I have found many people that have been able to help me throughout my life with other organizations. Organizations and finding a place to stay throughout college helps me surround myself with the people that will try and help me improve in the areas I show dedication in, which in turn makes me a better leader.

  • Brynn Coppedge

    I will be intentional throughout my time in college to ensure I am surrounding myself with individuals who will make me a better leader by reaching out to those I know can help. I will also be open to learning from others. I know that there will be many people willing to help me grow as a leader, so I need to allow them to help. There may also be different people who can help me in different areas of leadership. I know that I cannot get to where I want to be by myself, so I will definitely find mentors who can assist me in my leadership journey.

  • Brynn Coppedge

    I will be intentional throughout my time in college to ensure I am surrounding myself with individuals who will make me a better leader by reaching out to those I know can help. I will also be open to learning from others. I know that there will be many people willing to help me grow as a leader, so I need to allow them to help. There may also be different people who can help me in different areas of leadership. I know that I cannot get to where I want to be by myself, so I will definitely find mentors who can assist my in my leadership journey.

  • Sheridan Robinson

    The path to a dream is accompanied by numerous challenges and constraints; one cannot make it past these obstacles without mentors and family. Throughout my journey to become successful, I hope to uplift others, just as they would uplift me to beat the problems on each of our paths. To ensure my growth as a leader, I will acknowledge when others are stronger than me, and learn from their virtues and solutions to issues. I will surround myself with those both stronger and weaker than me, because through successes and mistakes, I can learn and grow, and help uplift others as well as be uplifted. Alongside other leaders, I can find solace and support through my family, who can help me through tough situations and times. When finding friends, I ensure that the time we’re spending together is both fun as well as impactful–that my friends do not discourage or dampen my passions, and instead encourage each other by shared dedication to school and goals.

  • Elizabeth Estabrooks

    I am going to pour into the people around me that do things that I feel passionate about as well. I have been careful about who I spend time with to keep that intention clear to myself and others. I also will make sure that the people around me want to improve themselves as well because those people also want to be great leaders.

  • Destiny Ryan

    To be intentional about surrounding yourself with people who will help you, I believe the first step is establishing where you want to go. For me, I am focused on getting a degree in Speech-Language Pathology and investing in leadership. So I am going to surround myself with people who are like-minded in work ethic and values. While Speech Pathology isn’t the most common major, there are several people on campus who are driven to graduate. I think reaching out to people with that mindset and also Speech Majors who are further along than I am will help me reach my own goals. But also, I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who care about your wellbeing. So I hope to find “my people” and stick with them.

  • Mariah Deere

    I really enjoyed listening to mayor Darrell Davis talk to us about how he grew up and how he got to where he is. I love hearing people talk about how they didn’t have someone like them to look up to but people who were different, so they became the person they wanted to see. That’s what I want to be! Growing up I never really saw any Indegenous leaders where I lived and so I wanted to become one for others to look up to, while doing that I realized I am becoming the leader I wanted to see and proud of myself. And he helped me remember that I don’t need to struggle alone to get what I want, we have so many people around us to help us but I sometimes feel like I shouldn’t do that and I need to do stuff on my own. But that is nearly impossible and his lecture helped me rem that and it is okay and need at times to ask for help. And his choice of wording, pauses, and points helped get his point across and he never lost my attention!

  • I loved how Mayor Davis talked about the importance of having company in your journey as a leader. As a leader, you need to surround yourself with people who believe in you and support you. These people will motivate you in your times of doubt as a leader. For me, I will surround myself with my parents and brother who have been my rock since day one. Also, I will look to my church family and lifelong friends who have molded me into the individual I am today.

  • Ben Hastings

    Mayor Davis said many things during his presentation, but the most important was, “Anyone who cares about you can be your mentor, and they don’t have to look like you.” His statement resonates with me because I’ve always struggled to accept the advice of my peers. I feel they understand my problems but are also unable to handle them. Ordinarily, this would be a problem, but maybe it’s not. Maybe, I’ve been looking for mentors similar to myself rather than someone with an outside perspective. Based on this realization, I’ve decided it’s time to find my mentors elsewhere, in areas where I’m unfamiliar and inexperienced. Hopefully, the diversity and outside experiences these individuals provide will advance my leadership skillset and teach me about myself. If you’re reading this, thank you for your insightful speech, Mayor Davis!

  • Jolie Barton

    Being in the right company has always been crucial to me, I believe. Growing up, my mother always taught me that your friends shape who you become. Due to my willingness to always be myself, I was unable to genuinely fit in with many people. I ultimately met a select group of close friends who challenged me to become the person I am today, but I was aware that I needed more. I wasn’t sure if I would rush when I first started college, but I quickly made up my mind that I would. I haven’t been a part of it for very long, but I already feel an incredible influence from one of the best experiences of my life. These amazing women I’m surrounded by have taught me how to enhance the characteristics I already possess and that it’s entirely good to be wholly authentic all the time. Not to mention that I saw the incredible diversity of leadership the instant I stepped inside the house. They are all amazing leaders who encourage one another to improve on what they already have. Because of Alpha Gam, I recognize the value of having a community that is there for you. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to develop into the person I want to be, and I feel fortunate to be a member of the chapter.