2019 Palmer Award Winner

What a joy it is to announce the recipient of this year’s Palmer Award! Please meet and congratulate TahLea Wright!IMG_0616 2

TahLea is a student at Moravian College (PA) and attended the 2018 national session of the Institute in Massachusetts. TahLea’s vision work in the year that has passed since she attended the Institute has focused primarily on empowering students, with special attention to young women of color, to step into leadership and advocacy.

TahLea has engaged in her work on the local level as a Summer Youth Program Coordinator in 2018 and 2019 through the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley with the responsibility of co-creating a leadership and service program for area high school students. In 2018, the focus of the program was Homelessness and Food Insecurity in the Lehigh Valley and TahLea engaged the participants in the program through interactive activities, guest speakers from local non-profit organizations, leadership exercises, and a service project. This program lead to the creation of the Youth Volunteer Council at her college. The mission of this council is to be the premier resource that coordinators and connects a diverse culture of youth to community service within the Greater Lehigh Valley. In 2019, the summer program included a World Café event, giving the students the opportunity to be in round table conversations with non-profit representatives from five different organizations. For a glimpse of how the program unfolded, take a look at a video that TahLea created about the week.

Through the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Moravian College, TahLea had the opportunity to serve as a THRIVE Peer Mentor. Not only did she support her two mentees transition to college and through their first year of college, she was there for them when they applied to serve as mentors themselves. Good news – they were both selected!

IMG_10211Working on the goLEAD program has given TahLea valuable experience toward her longer-term goal of creating a national after school program pairing elementary and middle school students with high school and college student mentors. And her involvement as a THRIVE Peer Mentor has provided a direct line to young women of color, a community that TahLea cares deeply about. TahLea is also Vice President of Gamma Sigma Sigma, a national all-inclusive service sorority, and was named the Outstanding Sophomore Leader of the Year through Omicon Delta Kappa.

Ultimately TahLea wants people to know that they can be successful, feel cared for and loved for who they are, and to believe that they can make a difference as leaders and advocates. We can’t wait to see what is next for TahLea and her vision work!

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Staying In Action: Part 2

Welcome back! We are eager to continue exploring ways in which we can stay in action. Before you read on, be sure you are all caught up with our first post.

Act On It
It might feel intimidating or it might be exhilarating – maybe a bit of both! – but what’s needed to create change in the world is putting our ideas into motion. We must move to action.

Breakthrough Blueprint & Tomorrow’s HeadlinesBinderPhone
These beautiful plans to move us toward a more just, caring, and thriving world that you created at the Institute are an excellent place to start. If, over time, you find your priorities shift and are no longer compelled by your initial dream, then use your blueprint as a guide to work toward a new vision for the world. See the future you wish to live in and take steps to move us toward it!

Going Against The Grain
In addition to big bold outward goals, experimenting with and acting on new behaviors, like you did with your Going Against My Grain habit during the Institute, is also a meaningful way to stay in action. Leadership and creating change aren’t only about what to do, but also how to be.

Build Resilient Habits
Stepping into leadership and working towards big and bold goals takes perseverance. Sometimes we’ll face obstacles that we need to overcome in order to stay in action. During these times, relying on our ability to be resilient is a great help. This is a theme we have explored on the blog before. Click over to the following posts for more depth on how to build habits toward resilience.

Reflecting in the Moment: 5 Take-Aways
Building Resilience Leaders
Resilience: Timeless Anchors

When it comes to creating positive change in the world, staying in action gets us there. Learn, Support, Take Action, Be Resilient. We are here for you and we are counting on you. We know you can do it!

Staying In Action: Part 1

We have had over 60 sessions and 2,500 participants and facilitators experience the Institute in 2019 so far! Add these folks to the over 70,000 who have also participated in the Institute over the past 32 years – and that is a lot of people carrying the lessons of the Institute with them. Some of us are deep into the work of activating what we learned at the Institute, while some of us are figuring out what it means to stay in action.

Whether you participated in the Institute a few weeks, a few months, or a few years ago, staying in action is the next step and an important part of being part of the LeaderShape community. As a LeaderShaper, we acknowledge the responsibility and privilege we have to create positive change in the world.

Over the next couple of days, we are going to share some ways in which you can stay in action and create change.

Keep Learning With Us
There isn’t an end to what we can learn. Learning is a life-long process. It’s exhilarating to know that there will always be new ideas to uncover. And there are ways that we can continue this learning together.

Download the LeaderShape App
Our new app is like having LeaderShape in your pocket and at your fingertips. It’s a daily opportunity to keep learning and keep teaching, in community with one another.AppPhonePhoto

  • Have a problem you to solve? Ask for advice.
  • Looking for information? Crowdsource that in the app.
  • Have a story or resource to share? Pass it on.
  • Get involved with what we’re sharing. Each month we’ll have a theme that is meant to keep us all engaged with growing as leaders and change-makers.

Download the LeaderShape app for iOS
Download the LeaderShape app for Android

Join us for Day 7 on the 7th of each Month
We use this day to explore a topic related to staying in action across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You’ll find encouragement as well as ideas and practices to incorporate into your day-to-day life.

Get Support, Give Support
We recognize and celebrate the community you have in your life beyond LeaderShape – those people who offer you guidance and support as well as the folks that you lift up through the encouragement you have to offer. Tending to these relationships is part of leadership and connection.

Maintain relationships from the Institute
It can be challenging to help people who weren’t part of the experience understand what happened and why it was so impactful. But the folks who were at the session with you do have that insight and can offer a special kind of support and understanding. Whether it is face-to-face or through technology, prioritize the connections you made during the program.

Find a mentor or coach
There are a lot of talented people in the world with experience we can learn from. Find someone who will share their time in a way that helps you grow and reach your goals.

Support Others
Did you know that you also have experiences and perspectives that will help others to reach their goals? Have you considered that your words of encouragement, appreciation, and feedback can elevate others and help them feel seen? If you didn’t, we hope you do now. Supporting others on their journey is an invaluable act.

Which of these ideas are you ready to try? Think on it and come back tomorrow for more thoughts to help you to stay in action.