Day 7: Gratitude

This month’s Day 7 has focused on getting behind the movement by supporting those we care about and the work they are doing and by showing our gratitude to the people who are there for us in the same way!

7 days of gratitude

If you’ve been following along on social media, you’ve seen that we’ve been demonstrating a variety of ways that you can show the support and gratitude that you have for others. Although all of the activities we have practiced this week are meaningful and sincere ways to show appreciation, one of the best and simplest ways to show gratitude is to put your thoughts into action and tell people exactly how grateful we are. We want to encourage you to take that step todayWe’ve made it easy for you, too.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank

Download this template and use it for those who have made an impact in your life. Not sure where to start? Here are a few people to say thanks to:

Parents and care-givers, siblings, grandparents and other family members, friends, your spouse or partner, teachers and mentors, neighbors, roommates, advisors and supervisors, co-workers, your mail carrier, barista, or mechanic, and any other person who you can think of that makes a difference in your life.

For us at LeaderShape, we are grateful to have so many people to thank for getting behind our movement of a just, caring, and thriving world where all lead with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible! Campus partners, sponsors, facilitators, donors, participants, and anyone in our community who is living LeaderShape. Today we want to take a moment to show our gratitude for just a few of our past graduates.

Varun Arora –  OpenCurriculum
Varun is the CEO at OpenCurriculum, a California-based nonprofit education technology company that is helping teachers all around the world teach better. Their a mission is to bring openness and innovation to K-12 curriculum around the world.

Varun participated in the Institute in Doha, Qatar in 2009, and in 2011 Google named him a Zeitgeist Young Mind. We believe in life-long learning and appreciate Varun’s commitment to the continued learning of teachers and their students.

Marly Q. Casanova – PARK Project
Marly has been spreading kindness through her PARK Project, which stands for Performing Acts of Random Kindness. Not long ago, Marly shared a copy of her Breakthrough Blueprint from 2004 and how it has been a driving force in her life. In 2017, she came back to a national session of the Institute as a Guest Leader and was invited to do the same at the South Florida consortium session. Our thanks goes to Marly for living and sharing LeaderShape!

Jessica Ekstrom – Headbands of Hope
Founder of Headbands of Hope, named Women’s Health Magazine’s Ultimate Game Changer, professional speaker, creator of the Mic Drop Workshop, and more. Jess cares deeply about helping kids feel confident during the difficult time of cancer treatment and empowering women to join the #SisterSpeaker revolution by helping women feel confident in their story, impact, and public speaking. We want Jess to know how much we appreciate how she has activated her care for others in the world through her work and life. 

Tyler Tolson – Denik LLC
As one of the founders of Denik, Tyler is an example of someone who lives out his values and vision through his work and beyond. Denik is a social enterprise that empowers and enlivens artists and helps to build schools in underdeveloped areas – and they do this by making beautiful products like notebooks. Each purchase helps to fund education projects worldwide. With the help of their partner Pencils of Promise, they will soon build their fifth school!

“You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.” Mahatma Gandhi

We know this isn’t an exhaustive list of LeaderShapers out there doing great work. But it’s a start. We hope you’ll make a start with us!

October: Reflecting in the Moment

Here at LeaderShape, we rely on the power of our community to make what we do possible. We believe that anything is possible with a compelling vision, integrity, a supportive community and the commitment to stay in action. We spent September looking toward the future, and we hope you did too (head over to our Instagram account and check out the “September” story).

Our vision is a just, caring, and thriving world where everyone leads with integrity and lives in possibility. Where we work in community with one another. Where everyone recognizes their own gifts and finds ways to use them for the greater good. Our intention is to create spaces for others to be included and contribute in this world and then by doing so, lead others to do the same – “to lead, live”.

This month we want to invite everyone, including our staff and organization, to reflect in the moment. Being mindful and present with yourself, and groups you identify with, is beneficial to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being.

Below is a peak at some of what we’ll be sharing on our social media platforms this month. We’re eager to reflect with the LeaderShape community this month!

National Book Month

Books expose us to new ideas, connect us to the lived experience of others, and can even bring about self-discovery. October is National Book Month and to celebrate, the LeaderShape staff is sharing what they have been reading.

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Day 7

Leaders inevitably find themselves stuck in the mess; living and leading with integrity is no simple task, but it is possible. Because of this, we will focus our #Day7 in October around why mindfulness matters. Student leaders, especially, can become overwhelmed with everything that college life involves – attending class, preparing for papers and tests, attending club meetings and putting on campus events, not to mention maintaining relationships with friends, families, and partners. This alone can turn a normal nine to five day into a non-stop day with few breaks and little time for meals and sleep.

We believe that all of us, no matter our workload or commitments, is capable of practicing mindfulness. On Sunday, October 7th, follow the hashtag #MindfulnessMatters on Instagram and Twitter as we reflect on ways to practice mindfulness by yourself, with a group, and reasons why it’s beneficial for leaders.

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LeaderShapers in Action

Over the past few weeks, we have heard from LeaderShapers across the nation who  are staying in action. And soon we’ll be sharing even more advice and stories from the participants and facilitators from our programs!

We would like to share your story as well! If, as a result of a LeaderShape program, you have experienced a personal change in thought or behavior or have put what you’ve learned into action. We can’t wait to hear from you!

LeaderShapers In Action

2018 Palmer Award Recipient: Briana Landis

We are so excited to announce this year’s Palmer Award Recipient! Meet and help us to congratulate Briana Landis, an Institute graduate from Meredith College, whose vision is “to create a world free of Multiple Sclerosis.”

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For those unfamiliar with the disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system. This attack on the brain and spinal cord disrupts signals to and from the brain. This interruption can create a variety of problems from numbness to blindness to paralysis.

research

Briana herself was diagnosed with MS when she was 4 years old and prior to participating in the Institute, she interned with the research lab DiscoveryMS. These experiences helped Briana to understand the need for funding to be directed towards MS research.

Through her experience at the Institute, Briana realized that, although she is young, she really can make a significant impact on what she cares about! She can be bold in her vision of a world free of Multiple Sclerosis. As she developed her vision further, Briana set a stretch goal to speak with local government officials about funding for MS on the state level as well as eventually speaking with Congress to demonstrate the need for funding on a national level.

Take a look at Briana’s progress!

  • Shared her story at multiple events that were raising money for Multiple Sclerosis
  • Was approached by the National MS Society and asked to go to Congress and speak on their behalf
  • Researched which bills were connected to Multiple Sclerosis and met with the National MS Society to understand the issues more deeply
  • Traveled to DC and spoke with members of Congress and the head of the MS Caucus
  • Met with her local state representative and the Governor of North Carolina

While in DC speaking to members of Congress, Briana asked for support of the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act. This act would prohibit large pharmaceutical companies from having programs that limit access to generic drugs. Briana shared that, on average, a person living with MS will pay $2500.00 a month on medication. Getting the CREATES Act passed means more people will be able to afford the medications they need and enjoy a better quality of life as their symptoms are being treated.28870387_1816760605055167_7650265836946946227_n

There has been progress on the Neurological Conditions Surveillance System, another area that Briana spoke with legislators about. Although previously passed, no funding had been given. Funding has now been established and preliminary results shows there are more than one million people in the United States with Multiple Sclerosis. Earlier studies estimated that number to be only half of that. The census results demonstrate the need for resources to be allocated to those with the disease and for research.

Through her work with her local Representatives and Governor, Briana as advocated for more funding for North Carolina’s Affordable Housing initiative. The passing of this initiative benefits people with MS who have been homebound by providing them with easy-to assemble ramps for their homes. MS can limit one’s physical mobility, keeping them homebound. Those in this situation may not be able to attend doctor’s appointments, pick up prescriptions, run errands, or see friends and family – all activities important to one’s physical and mental health. These ramps can add so much value to those living with MS by helping them be more mobile and offering an increased level of independence and freedom.

Briana’s knows her work is not done yet! Even so, she shared that she is eager to one day say, “I used to have MS.”