Students learn to lead

By Isabelle Link, Staff Reporter |

College is about gaining knowledge and increasing skills and self-awareness, according to Jill Gibson, Amarillo College honors program co-coordinator. 

That’s why AC’s Student Life and Honors programs have started the Student Leadership Institute, a series of free workshops for students who want to expand their leadership skills, Gibson said. 

Student Life and Amarillo College Honors organized a Student Leadership Training program that happened Jan. 25 and focused on shaking up the status quo.

The workshop included hands-on activities, group work and a presentation about leadership. Students said, although the workshop was a learning opportunity, it was still full of laughter.

Some students commented that they enjoyed how everyone involved had a good sense of humor and all partook in the activities. 

“I expected a lot of laughs and to be able to meet new people, and of course learn about leadership. The workshop was enticing as ever and I liked the turn out, a lot of new faces.” Jimmy Nye, a psychology major, said.

The workshop also included tips and comments about becoming a leader people would want to follow. Jarrett Lykens, a CIS major, said that when he thinks of leadership, he thinks of Steve Jobs and Microsoft because they changed the world that we live in. Lyken said he enjoyed when Gibson mentioned Steve Jobs and said “the people that are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.”

Michelle Wittler, a biology pre-med major, said she attended the overnight leadership retreat AC held in November said she liked the way Gibson mixed activities with lecture. 

“I liked having that diversity. We weren’t just playing leadership games, we actually were listening and could understand and watch videos. I’m more of a visual learner so I liked watching and building stuff,” Wittler said.

The spring semester Student Leadership Institute meetings take place about every two weeks. The next one will be at noon, Feb. 8 in the Burrow and it will focus on empowering team members and building trust. Each year there are 12 sessions — six in each semester, including the overnight retreat. Students who attend nine meetings will earn a Student Leadership Certificate.

“Earning the certificate gives you something you can put on your resume, and is a testament to the skills that you developed throughout these sessions,” Gibson said.

“I hope that it also creates a thirst in students to learn more about leadership and pursue more self-development.”

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