Compiled by Ana Ribero
Let’s play follow the leader—the Florida Leader, that is. The 2003 Florida College Student of the Year honorees give advice on what they do best—leading. From overcoming adversity to improving Florida’s future, these students know their stuff. Read on for their expert advice and learn what it takes to be an exceptional leader.
What surprised you most about your transition from being a high school leader to a college leader?
“I discovered a willingness
on the part of college administrators to aid student leaders in
accomplishing their goals. I was surprised by how many contact persons were
available to recruit as resources and the numerous organizational and
bureaucratic channels through which I had to find my way in order to make
“I was excited about the
freedom and the opportunities college presented. You have a little more room
to be creative in organizing things. You are looked at more as an adult.”
What advice would you give to up-and-coming leaders?
“Make sure that you’re
well-versed. A student leader is an individual who’s a leader in many
aspects of student life. Whether the student is a leader in the residence
halls, a fraternity, a community service organization, a religious
organization, or SG, she needs to diversify her activities to be able to
meet and attend to different students and their concerns.”
to know your faculty, staff, and administrators. Good relationships will
help you and the students you represent.”
persistent! It’s important to keep trying even when doors are shut. You also
can’t do anything alone. Get to know people and their ideas, and let those
guide you. Also, recognize the people who have helped shape and form you.”
How do you overcome adversity?
staying focused on the overall goal or big picture. By staying positive.”
“Perseverance. Attitude is everything. You can choose to make your life into
anything you like. ‘Spin doctor’ your life and fight for what you believe
in. Just don’t forget the value of compromise.”
What qualities make you an effective leader?
“Having a passion that others can see and feel, being able to speak with and
in front of people, and having the ability to concede to any person and to
learn his story.”
ability to facilitate and delegate is of utmost importance. Yet, I find that
it’s imperative to have fun. By enjoying what you do and showing that you’re
having fun, it becomes contagious and will have an enormous impact on
efficiency and productivity.”
How has your group improved the quality of campus life for students? How can it be further improved after you graduate?
have increased the level of communication between university administration
and student government. New leaders need to continue meeting with university
officials to work toward a common goal of increasing student services.”
Honors Program has nurtured a unique group of students in a way that greatly
compliments the undergraduate experience at my university. Through the
Honors Ambassadors, we have strengthened the image and prestige of our
program while providing important leadership opportunities to those chosen
as Honors Ambassadors.”
How do you make your visions a reality and get others excited about them?
others involved by rolling up my sleeves and participating myself.
Organizational leaders should never delegate something they wouldn’t be
willing to do themselves.”
develop, organize, plan, and research what I want to do before I begin. I
encourage others to get involved and develop support before I get in too
deep. I encourage others to be as creative and driven as possible.”
What is the most important issue Florida college students face today?
more and more students are attending college, there become more students
with large financial debt. Colleges help tremendously, but in today’s
economy, the state scholarships are never guaranteed and leave many students
most important issue any college student faces is the temptation to waste
their time while in college. Many students come to college thinking that
it’s all about having a good time and partying. But what you do in college
will shape your future and who you are. It’s important to take time to study
and also look for ways to improve the world around you.”
What will most improve life in Florida in the future?
key to a prosperous future is tolerance. We must celebrate and be willing to
think the lessening divide between demographics will improve life in Florida
because it’ll turn differing perspectives into one.”
If you had the power to change one thing about your school or the Florida educational system before you graduate, what would it be?
could change one thing about UF, it would be to increase the
administration’s commitment to promoting diversity by adding more programs
promoting culture and diversity. By educating the student body, the tension
on campus would diminish and the campus climate would become more pleasant
In what specific areas will you use your leadership abilities after you graduate?
will use my economic background to continue work in government, ensuring
that economic policies will have direct benefits to the citizens of this
intend to bring my leadership abilities to bear in all of my future
endeavors. I hope to become a leader in the medical field, whether it is in
clinical practice, clinical research, or academic medicine. Medicare needs
effective leadership in order to best respond to patients’ needs.”
Copyright © 2006 Oxendine Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved