Meet the Interns: Colby

Last week we introduced you to our intern Krista. Now it’s time to meet someone else! From Institute Participant to Community Engagement Intern, here is Colby:

Hi there! I would like to first introduce myself as one of the Community Engagement HeadshotInterns this summer. My name is Colby Brown and I have recently graduated from St. John Fisher College where I studied Media Management and minored in student activities. While I did not actually minor in student activities, one of the best decisions I made was becoming involved in various aspects of what Fisher offered. From planning campus events and helping with Orientation, to giving tours and becoming the college mascot, I enjoyed every minute of the past four years.

 

GraduationNow, as a retired mascot and college graduate, I spend my time reading books geared towards life after college. I am currently reading I Just Graduated… Now What? by Katherine Schwarzenegger and will soon read Good Enough Now by Jessica Pettitt. My hobbies also include hiking and kayaking in Upstate NY, listening to music, and of course, living with integrity.

I am from a family of five …  or six, if you include our nine-year old corgi-beagle mix named Cindy Lou Who. My father works for Xerox and my mother is a librarian at the elementary school in my hometown. My older sister went to the University of Oklahoma to study meteorology and now lives with her husband in Washington, D.C. My younger sister is about to start her senior year of high school and is looking study physical therapy in college. We all love traveling across the nation and trying new restaurants, as well as staying active in our communities.

I first heard of LeaderShape during my sophomore year of college from a mentor who participated in the Institute program. She described it as a life changing experience, and then asked me what I wanted my legacy to be. At the time, I did not have an answer, but after my experience with LeaderShape in 2015, my eyes were opened to the infinite possibilities of life. I came back to my college with a vision to ultimately connect people with people and tell stories.

LeaderShape GearOne of the most meaningful memories from my experience was the ability to connect with all of the participants sharing our visions and excitement for creating a positive change in the world. Our collective visions reminded me of one of my favorite quotes: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” – Margaret Mead. LeaderShape taught me how to live a life full of giving back and leaving a positive, sustainable legacy, which is something that I continue to work upon every day.

Growing up, I never really imagined having a personal hero. Always with my nose in a Family Clusterbook and my eyes on the movie theatre screen, I fell in love with the stories that were told and adored the many characters who overcame obstacles in their life. There were, and still are, many individuals (from novels, film, and real life) that I learn from – Wonder Woman, Harry Potter, Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar speech, Ashton Kutcher’s Teen Choice Awards speech, my mother, and my best friends.

As LeaderShapers continue to stay in action during #Day7, there are certain questions that could be asked of us, some of them more interesting than the typical, “So, what did you do at LeaderShape?”. Here are some that I was asked to answer:

If you could speak to everyone in the world at the same time, what would you say?
I hope you dance. Dance as if no one is watching. Dance in the rain. Dance until your feet hurt, and once you think about giving up, don’t. Just keep dancing.

Dance as if no one is watching. Do what makes you happy in life. Follow your passions and I guarantee that you will live a life that matters, one where you surround yourself with people and experiences that make you happy.

Dance in the rain. At times, you might find yourself frustrated with a situation or that you made a mistake or are having a disagreement with a close friend. That is okay. Appreciate the moments where you have options. “When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” – Anonymous

Dance until your feet hurt, and once you think about giving up don’t. Just keep dancing. Life is not going to be easy; it is going to challenge us to our limits. We, however, set our limits. I challenge you, once you think you have reached whatever limit or goal at hand, take that one step further. Believe in yourself. Live beyond your limits.

Could you share a quote that you find particularly motivating or inspiring?
In my home office, there are a total of six motivational quotes on the wall and desk where I find my daily inspiration. One of them is from E.E. Cummings – “The most wasted of all days is the one without laughter.”

We know you have a pretty full schedule. If you were given a completely free day, with no obligations, what would you do?
Travel. I find that traveling to a new location with my handy-dandy journal and pen allows me to reflect on my life and set forth goals, both short term and long term, to strive towards and accomplish. I always wanted to buy a one-way plane ticket to a random location and see where life goes from there, but given that I only have one free day, I would settle for a day-trip exploring upstate NY or the Adirondacks.

If you made it to here, give yourself a high five, you deserve it! Now that you know a little bit about me, feel free to reach out and share your thoughts or your #Day7. Comment below or follow LeaderShape on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for daily inspirations, upcoming webinars, our monthly Twitter chats, and experiences from Institute, Catalyst, and Resilience.

Meet the Interns: Krista

KristaPicWe are excited to announce that two new interns have joined our team and we want you to meet them. Let’s begin with Krista!

Hi, my name is Krista! I go to Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. I’m an incoming senior pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising with a double minor in Marketing and Digital Media. I’m involved with Marquette Volunteer Corps as a Team Leader and the Wakerly Media Lab as a Creative Media Associate. I love exploring new places, listening to music (and making too many Spotify playlists), and sitting at local coffee shops drinking chai lattes. My family consists of my younger brother, my mom and dad, and my crazy doggy.

How did you get connected to LeaderShape?
I saw a poster about LeaderShape at school, and I kept getting emails about it. So I decided to apply. I had no idea what to expect, but it was the best decision I made at Marquette thus far. They tell you it’ll be a “life-changing” experience, they weren’t kidding, it was life-changing!

What is something from your involvement from LeaderShape that you continue to apply or work towards in your life?
I’m drawn toward social justice advocacy. LeaderShape gave me a voice to speak out for those who cannot. It made me learn how to be an inclusive leader, and lead with integrity.
KristaFamCluster
Tell us about your personal hero.
A woman named Ann. She works as a volunteer coordinator for the Milwaukee Jail Visiting Program. She’s been involved with the jail since the 1970’s, offering an outlet for inmates to find hope again. Many of the inmates do not have visitors, and I had the opportunity to work with Ann and be a part of the Visiting Program this past spring. Ann is a Godsend for these men and women in the jail. She is making a positive impact on so many lives, and simply does it out of the goodness of her heart. She’s a social justice warrior, and definitely one of my heroes.

If you could speak to everyone in the world at the same time, what would you say?
Always look for the good, rather than the bad. Be fueled by love, rather than hate.

Could you share a quote that you find particularly motivating or inspiring?
“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.”

We know you have a pretty full schedule. If you were given a completely free day, with no obligations, what would you do?
Go exploring! Try new things, take pictures of beautiful places, and spend time with the ones that mean the most to me.

Anything else you want to add?
Get involved with something new – no matter what it might be. It’s important to step out of your comfort zone and say yes to the things that would normally scare you. Who knows, you might just love it! As the saying goes, you’ll never know until you try.

 

Now that you’ve gotten to know Krista,
we invite you to meet her fellow intern, Colby Brown

Friday 5: 5 Ways to Live Compassionately

What does it mean to have compassion?

In very simple terms, it means to seek to compassionblog-post-imageunderstand the life of another person. Whether the person be in your life for years or just a moment, the interaction they have with you is one in which they are valued, heard, and appreciated. Why is compassion important? Because everyone suffers. Everyone. Not everyone’s suffering is the same but regardless of the cause of that suffering, we can all relate to that feeling of pain. When we see that in each other, our hearts are opened to the possibility that we are a lot more alike than we are different.

How then do we live compassionately? Here are a few thoughts…

Withhold judgement. It is easy to see the “perfect” family picture on Instagram and quickly craft a story about that person’s experience, thinking that their life is perfect and they don’t face any trials. It is just as simple to have an interaction with a co-worker who seems agitated and jump to conclusions about them as a person. Don’t craft the story in your head, let the story unfold as the other person wants to share it.
Serve without the expectation of getting anything in return. Let’s be honest, deep down we are all a little selfish and often want to do things because of what we get in return. Put those feelings aside and as you see a need and serve. Don’t boast about it. Don’t expect anything in return. And then when it is over, think about the time you spent serving and what it meant for those you were with.
Be vulnerable. Being with someone as they face a challenge in life is difficult and it can trigger emotions that we would rather not recognize. When a friend gets expelled from school because of academic failure and you are with them when they tell their parents, it requires you to be present and be in the moment with them. Don’t back away from the opportunity to share your emotions, feelings, and experiences. Doing so can create a space for others to do the same. It can show others that no matter what hurt or hang-up they have, they are important to you.
Wish others well. When a car cuts you off in traffic, the first thought in your mind may not be one of good wishes. But what if it was? And not in a sarcastic way – but one of true thoughtfulness. As we go through our days, we interact with many people that we know nothing about. From the cashier at the movie theater to the telemarketer that calls every single week to ask us to change our cable service, they each have a story. What if my reaction was first one of well wishes before one of frustration? It can change the way you see people because your first thought is one of positivity and not frustration.
Practice Self-Compassion. All of the concepts above can be applied to you as well. We are often our own worst critics and, when the world around is also judging us, there can be little escape. So be kind to yourself. See the goodness that you bring to the lives of others. Take time to heal the hurts of your own life.

How will you practice compassion in the coming days? Tell us in the comments!

Kristen Young serves as Senior Vice President at LeaderShape. She is a lifer at LeaderShape! Her first experience with LeaderShape was as a participant and she hasn’t left since!  Outside of work, Kristen is a wife and mother who tries every day to live a life lead by her values and embracing the joy that can come from the ordinary.