Week 8: Being a Role Model
At the start of the summer, we talked about certain leadership traits – honesty, integrity, servants heart/willingness to give, commitment, being a role model. How have you progressed in developing or building those character traits this summer? What activities in particular have enabled you to grow in these areas? How do you know you have grown? In what areas do you still see room to grow?
Regarding being a role model…we have interacted with young people all summer long. What positive character traits can you say they have seen expressed in you? In your team members? Give examples.
This summer I developed traits that stemmed from being outside of my comfort zone. I learned to adapt and just be innovative. The area that I grew in the most was mentoring the students at summer rec. I learned to converse with them and teach them things that they may not know. Hopefully, they take the lessons that I taught with them everywhere they go. I know that I have grown because that was something that I was unable to do before the program.
This summer has been a blessed time for me to grow as a servant and somewhat as a leader. I find myself leading through serving a lot, and it’s something I don’t mind doing because Christ himself modeled for me the beautiful way of being a servant leader. I am grateful that I have been able to play a role to serve the Northside Community. I am blessed to be able to get to know different people and learn from them. I feel good about growing in the area of talking and reaching out to people in the community. It is good to see individuals change and grow as we work together. I am blessed to be getting to know people from other non-profit organizations and to hear how they are making a positive impact on their community.
One of the things I hope the youth and young adults, whom I have been working with, have seen from me is that I am not flashy and loud, but I seek to be faithful to them and I love God. I hope they sense that I love and care for them deeply as children of God, and as brothers and sisters in Christ. My hope and prayer is that I would continue to serve God in this capacity after my contract with AmeriCorps is over.
I feel that I have both grown and evolved in all of the areas of leadership listed above. With the things that we were involved with this summer I couldn’t really do anything but grow. The activity that helped me the most was summer rec. Working with the kids and seeing what they have to deal with makes you think that you have to be someone for them to look up to. I know I’ve grown because it’s a change I can feel. The change in me is so noticeable that I can’t do anything but embrace it. But, I know that there are always ways to grow especially when you’re trying to lead people. I haven’t perfected any leadership traits, but I hope to continue growing, attempting to get it right. When the team interacts with the kids we all know that we have to take on the persona of a role model and we accept that. While we don’t want to become the hard authority figure, we make sure that they know that respect is required for not only us but the other kids. When we talk to them we try to make sure we have all of their intention. As an individual, I talk to some of the kids about their dreams and what they hope to become. I also stress the point of telling them that Richmond is just a speck in the world and that there is so much more out there for them to see.
Honestly, I don’t know that I have grown. Only the people around me can know if I have grown, because they see it. I do know that my openness/willingness has expanded. My comfort zone was invaded and completely taken away from me, but I learned to quickly adapt, and how to smile while doing it. I have stuck with everything that I did not like, and because of that it has opened my eyes to new things. I enjoy helping others, and this summer has just taught me that there is so much more to helping others. I have a talent for talking to people and public speaking, but I tend to shy away from my calling, because I am too scared to let my light shine. I realize that it is not about me, but about those who have it worse than me. I can help people with the little that I have and all my blessings will come true, and much more.
For me I feel that my development has been a slow but steady process. From being involved in the lives of the kids in my youth group I have had to “step my game up,” so to speak. Because of the values that I’m trying to instill in them, I felt that I had to give them something to model. I still have a ways to go, because I am only human; but I can honestly say that I’m on the right track. And as far as the activities that have helped me to achieve this, it’s because of my interaction with my kids. I still have to grow in the areas of acting on my feelings. As you well know, at certain times I do not have a good poker face. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. The positive character traits that I exhibit to the kids are: being honest with them and letting them know that what I do for them is from my heart, not for money. I let them know how I am doing in school because I want them to know that no matter what your background is, you can overcome and achieve. I know I have grown because I am taking the time (my off time), to involve myself in their lives. At one point in my life I wouldn’t have cared as much. I have a love/hate relationship with this journey that I’m on, but I wouldn’t change a thing. As they say in recovery: “more will be revealed” so stay tuned.
I must say that I have fulfilled these specific leadership traits in my work ethic and while interacting with the kids and residents in the Brookland park area. I have to say the summer recreation really is the main activity that brought these traits out in me. It gave me an opportunity to not only develop these traits, but also to help the kids with these traits so we all grow together. I know I have grown because I don’t even have an interest in the things that I used to do. However, I know I still have room to grow in the willingness to give. I can truthfully say that they can see that honesty is one of the major traits they can vouch for in me.
I think for the most part I have learned how important these characteristics are in building positive and sustainable relationships. Personally, I think the first step has been to identify their significance; the rest has to be practiced daily to become better at them. Over the summer there were times when I really struggled with character building traits against my own will and other times when these traits seemed to come naturally. If I had my way I would choose the latter each time because in those times I really enjoy life as I am suppose to. What activities in particular have enabled you to grow in these areas? Meeting people that under any other circumstances I would have not had any interest in. I enjoy watching people re-gain hope when they see positive forces in their community; this somehow gives me the strength I need to carry on. How do you know you have grown? I believe that one indicator of growth would be doing something that I never envisioned doing and enjoying it. In what areas do you still see room to grow? I would love to become more of a people person. Sometimes I’m rubbed the wrong way and so I rub others the wrong way. Most say that I’m controlling with an overly sensitive personality, but whatever the case, I’m most of the time open for growth.