Our Year in Review

As the year comes to a close, we cannot help but to reminisce over some of the many moments we celebrated in 2017.

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Our programs traveled near and far (and even overseas) to leave an impact on the leaders of tomorrow. See the full map here!

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In August, we had our 70,000th participant complete The Institute. Think of all of the amazing visions that are bringing endless possibilities to this world.

We partnered with 17 organizations to spend the day with their staff developing their skills in the area of resilience.

We partnered with 50 organizations to help participants create change in their communities by starting something extraordinary.

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We connected with seven presenters for our webinars that covered topics ranging from leveraging positive change to building creativity , and sustainable partnerships to conversations that matter.

Interested in hearing these wonderful people speak about these topics, head over here. Want to see some of their work in a graphic, head over to our Facebook album with even more webinars!

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Join us in reflecting, connecting, and acting on the past few #Day7 themes here.

July: #BeABeliever

August: #EmbraceFailure

September: #TimeToReflect

October: #FindYourCreativity

November: #PracticeGratitude

December: #GetJoyful

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Join the conversation from our monthly Twitter chats here.

July: To Lead, Live and Spark Inspiration

August: To Lead, Live and Take Time to Reflect

September: To Lead, Live and Practice Self Care

October: To Lead, Live and Activate Your Strengths

November: To Lead, Live and Celebrate 2017

2017 National Sessions of the Institute

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As everyone quickly moves through their daily lives, it is difficult to make time for conversations. Many interactions happen with a quick text or message via Snap Chat. At the Institute, we intentionally slow down to allow participants to create a community in which they can engage in meaningful conversations about values, integrity, and their passions. The week is focused on asking participants to connect with their values and then put them into action by developing a vision for something they care about.

In 2017, we will continue to provide the Institute experience to participants giving them an opportunity to explore their values and develop a vision for something they care about.

We will host 5 sessions in two locations. The dates and locations of the two general sessions are May 14-19 in Boston, MA and July 23-28 in Champaign, IL.

For the past two years we have hosted a national session for a specific demographic. We have done this to help participants explore the concepts of the Institute in a community of individuals who share parts of their identity. These sessions with African American men have been profoundly impactful so we are expanding to other areas of interest in 2017. Here are the dates and specifications for the three special interest sessions, all to be held in Champaign, IL:

May 21-26: Institute for Residence Hall Leaders
July 30- August 4: Institute for Latinx Students
August 6-11: Institute for African American Men

If you are interested in learning how you can attend or how you can send students from your college/university or organization to a session, please email us at lead@leadershape.org.

Want to learn more about the Institute?
You can visit our website and check out these posts about our program.
Institute FAQs
A Nerd’s Reflection on the Institute
The Heart of National Sessions of the Institute

#toleadlive

Reflections from an Institute Grad: One Year Later

On the 7th day of each month we pause to reflect on the Institute program and celebrate #Day7. Yesterday we highlighted Vincent and today we are sharing Clivane’s experiences as part of our three-part series.

Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you c14454624_10202111450625326_506103449_nan only connect them looking backwards…” Let’s look backward, shall we?

It’s been one year since I graduated the 2015 Institute at York University. I’ve had 365 Day 7s since then. I’ve kept in touch with 1-2 members of my cluster family, and a couple of other individuals as well. My core values – empowerment, loyalty, creativity, hard work and leadership – remain the same.  My GAG, to embrace vulnerability, became my #OneWord365 for 2016.

I also became an intern at LeaderShape. As a LeaderShape Intern, the marketing and community engagement work I do keeps me connected to LeaderShape’s vision, mission and daily work. And when I had the opportunity this past July to help prepare for one of the national sessions of the Institute, everything hit me full circle.

Now I wish I could tell you that the dots all began to connect… but they didn’t. In fact, after spending a week in Champaign preparing for the national sessions, it was like my first Day 7 all over again!

It was like Day 7 all over again.  

I started to think about my cluster family, my vision, my stretch goals, the risks I have taken,  the vulnerability I have shown, the things I have learned about myself and others since my first Day 7. While the momentum after the Institute may have waned, the importance of living in possibility and creating real, positive change has not.

My year after the Institute has been the most emotional, eye-opening and challenging year of my life. But now I can begin to connect the dots going backwards. The Institute was the catalyst I needed to embrace vulnerability. I struggled with it over 6 days (hence, the reason vulnerability was my GAG), but little did I know what a vital tool it would be in the months afterwards. With vulnerability, I found the courage to share a story about a loved one and mental illness. Sharing that story created positive change for others. Talk about a ripple effect – and it had nothing to do with my vision created at the Institute!

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So here’s what I have to say. If you’re an Institute grad and you’re having a rough year in your personal life, your vision has become unclear, you’ve lost connection with your cluster family, or accomplishing your manageable goals is taking longer than you anticipated – it’s Day 7 again.

Live each day with a healthy disregard for the impossible. Read through your Institute manual. Check in with your cluster family. Celebrate your small victories. Reevaluate your goals. Get that ripple of positive change re-started.

There’s a final line to the Steve Jobs quote that began this blog post. Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards…So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

Let’s look forward, shall we?

Let’s live in possibility, my friends.