Shaping a Generation Who is Shaping Our World
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." -- African Proverb
In our ever changing world the development of strong inter- and intra- personal skills allows us to grow and maintain friendships and working relationships. It is in my role as a faculty advisor of the St. Lawrence College chapter of Enactus (Enactus SLC) that I have been afforded the opportunity to support students in understanding this proverb and how going beyond its understanding and embodying it will allow them to not only find success but also to become an integral part of any community that they choose to partake.
Recently, our chapter participated in Enactus Canada National Exposition, a country wide competition on measurable community impact. Although we did not win the competition, our chapter did take home the Spirit Award, and yes, this is our second year that Enactus SLC has won this award! The Spirit Award is given to the chapter that demonstrated great impact on their community while working within the Enactus judging criterion. When I reflect on our chapter and how they held themselves with dignity and manner during the competition, I can see a years worth of growth come to fruition.
When students initially join Enactus SLC they are usually looking to build experience working in a cross disciplinary team, public speaking, professional writing, managing team social media accounts, and managing professional relationships. It is through our year together working on community based projects that students begin to see their own impact in the work that they do. They grow in the realization that they too can influence their community and that one person, when part of a team, can change the world. When students gain this awareness of themselves and their team, they begin to see even more purpose in the work they do, the care in their writing, how they treat their colleagues, the messages they send out into the twittersphere, and the importance of getting the right person on each task to not only delegate a workload but to delegate it efficiently. As students grow over the year, they move from not wanting to present to asking for the opportunity to present as they see it as just that, an opportunity. The more opportunities that we have the more we, as a team, can then grow.
As students leave Enactus SLC, they are markedly changed. They are more confident, skilled, and most importantly reflective. Many students often say at the end of our time working together that they have appreciated our work together because even though there were high expectations that each expectation was an opportunity to be more than just themselves. It was an opportunity to be and build community.
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We regularly have experiences in our schooling that ask students to work alone, become efficient, to master skills and content, but Enactus provides our students with an opportunity to innovate, create, and strive for a more meaningful form of learning through the development of community. Our chapter goes together so that we can go far.