A new student initiative has been introduced to Woodland Worldwide members. Student-led meetings, a now regular occurrence at the club’s meetings, allows members to build on leadership skills and empower each other.
Members of Woodland Worldwide have taken student initiative and started to lead the groups’ meetings. Members who volunteer to run scheduled meetings are responsible for choosing a topic that they would like to cover with the group, presenting the club with an activity, discussion, or small presentation to deliver their message.
Starting early last October, the group decided to allow members to take turns to lead each meeting. Club advisors, Meghan Geary and Lisa Olivere believe that by presenting members with the opportunity to interact and lead the club, student-leadership skills are further developed and young women are encouraged to use their voices.
“We want to offer authentic ways for our members present issues that matter to them and to lead our group toward the future,” Geary said. “Woodland Worldwide is unique in that it doesn’t have traditional leadership roles, like president or VP, etc. We believe that leaders rise organically when given opportunities to take initiative and use their voice. This is a perfect way to provide those opportunities.”
With no cabinet system in the club, members are stepping up to use their ideas and voice to practice student initiative.
“We have been surprised by how easily this idea has latched on, and are thrilled to see so many students coming forward with ideas to lead the meetings,” Geary stated.
Members look forward to presenting their monthly student-led meetings especially because of the interesting topics that they choose. Emily Laput, two year members, led the first student-ran meeting and talked to the group about the importance of self-care. She showed the group that they can practice self-care in the simplest and easiest ways. Members then got to take part in putting on face-masks and painting each others nails, which followed a group discussion about loving your imperfections.
Other topics include, “Beauty Standards Displayed by the Media,” run by Lucinda Felix and the upcoming, “Women of Woodland” campaign run by Camille Terrell. This project recognizes the women in the WRHS community that strives to lead and inspire the community everyday. Terrell asked to take on this leadership role in running this campaign for 2020.
Students now feel more comfortable voicing their opinion the advisors have seen a great amount of student involvement which they believe is the result of feeling comfortable bouncing ideas off of each other and building on thoughts about the topic presented. Discussions are more vibrant, and members show more interest in each meeting because of the student-initiative that has been taken.
Members have benefitted from the leadership skills taught within the club, which positively impact the future of each member.
“‘Leadership experiences’ have always been something that students struggle to provide on their National Honor Society applications every year,” Olivere reported. “Our student members aren’t necessarily leading these meetings to build their resumes, but coming up with topics, facilitating discussions, and organizing activities is showing leadership.”
Currently, Woodland Worldwide continues to empower students through leadership training. Leadership comes in many shapes and forms, whether that being the captain of a sports team, president of the class, or voicing your ideas to others. The group has shown that student initiative sparks creativity and student involvement building leaders of the future.