Friday, January 11, 2013

Leadership Course

When I signed up for the GVI program, I was prompted to add on a leadership training course. Basically it would have been an extra few hours a week and at the end I would have an interesting perspective on the dynamics of a team. Since I took the year off before school, I thought that I could add this along to keep my brain nice and sharp.
At first, I was nervous. I’m only 18 years old, so who was I to be a leader? But the information delivered through four different presentations flowed easily and I hung on every word. After every presentation, there would be a corresponding homework assignment. It was not difficult, or too time-consuming. Simply some questions to drill in the information learned. Eventually I realized that even though I’m young, I was not incapable of taking on a leadership position. I took on more and more responsibility over the course of the program: planning farewell dinners, helping the new volunteers get settled, and even becoming volunteer representative. My last week on the program I was the youngest volunteer out of 16 adults. I never felt ostracized or excluded because of it. Instead, I felt like a leader.
I’ve learned over the past few weeks on this program that age doesn’t matter. I don’t know what I want to do in the future but I know that whatever it is, the leadership course will help me get there. I do not foresee someone asking me specifics about risk assessments and SMART objectives down the road, but just knowing that I have some guidelines to follow lets me know that I can succeed. The difference between me and some other potential job appliqu├ęs will be this program. The information I learned here will show that I can work under high-pressure situations in unfamiliar locations, while still having fun!
In a couple years time, I know that my time in Laos will still be remembered. To anyone considering coming on the program, I suggest you sign up for the leadership course as well. It’s well worth your time.

Written by Sara from America who was on the project for 1 month