School: University of Florida
During my Healthcare Leadership- Skills and Styles class, my professor decided to talk about some of the leadership philosophers who believed that leaders are entirely born and not created. I could not help but chuckle at this issue. I definitely knew that this statement was false. I agreed with the leadership philosopher Bennis who states “true leaders are not born, but made, and usually self-made.” I was an example that leaders CAN be created due to the help of Southern Scholarship Foundation and the wonderful leadership roles that I was able to become a part of.
Growing up, I was known as the “quiet” slow to warm up person. I would never go out of my way to talk to a stranger or even try to attempt to start up a conversation. Within group projects I was never the student who took charge. Plenty of times people would tell me that I am a very kind person and wished I would “speak more”. Once I moved to the University of Florida and became a resident of Southern Scholarship Foundation I slowly broke out of my shell and progressed as a leader.
I first started off my leadership journey as an ambassador for the Hawksley 1 house. For our first meeting, I remember all the ambassador were sitting around the table and giving their input to an upcoming event. But, there I was sitting at the table with plenty of ideas in my head, but too nervous and shy to say them out loud. I finally decided to say what was on my mind. My palms were a little sweaty, and my heart was racing but once I gave my input to the group, I felt like I conquered a fear within my life.
I continued on my leadership role as an ambassador by imputing ideas, and going out of my way to talk to residents that I did not know within the SSF community. Just by becoming an ambassador, I would receive many encouraging words from my SSF peers about how much I have grown. I definitely could see that I was not the same Antoinette from freshman year of college.
During a house meeting my house manager announced that house manager applications were being accepted. I knew that this was a great way to officially enhance my leadership for my senior year of college. I applied during last spring semester and now I am currently the house manager at the Mack Tyner House. I honestly never could have imagined that a shy, introverted girl would break out of her comfort zone and would later run a house with 23 beautiful residents. Southern Scholarship foundation has allowed me the chance to attend college, meet wonderful people of all backgrounds, but has truly given me the opportunity to become a leader.