John F. Kennedy said: “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” I definitely learned that in college. Being a member of different organizations taught me to leave things better than I found them.
During my first Student Organization Leadership Day (SOLD) conference, Hannah Brencher spoke. (btw I loveeeee her! She is phenomenal and the things she has accomplished have just blown me away!) I saw her again at Alpha Gam’s International Convention last summer. She has this talk on how to “get relentless.” Every time I heard those two words, I took away something new.
South held two SOLD conferences and I had the opportunity to attend both years. It’s only one day, but you get sooo much of it. Both years they chose really great key speakers. At my second SOLD conference, James T. Robilotta shared a quote from Mumford and Sons about “where you invest your love, you invest your life.” I definitely tried to do that. I learned a lot from those conferences. Especially when planning, which I did a lot of, in the organizations that I was a part of.
- Plan early. (Things happen. Back up plans are essential, sometimes the back up plan turns out better than the original.)
- Create a realistic budget.
- Publicize. (From making flyers or hand-outs to emails to social media and chalking the campus to sheet signs…Ohhh the sheet signs! I didn’t even know that was a thing until college, but I learned real fast how to paint one of those.)
- Evaluate then say thank you. Make sure to credit where it’s due. Nothing happens alone.
- Build positive brand image. (This is my favorite part of public relations. I love that everything is connected and works together. I love when things match the values and heart of an organization.)
I’ve definitely learned a lot that I know helped me in those organizations. I know they will help me in my career life too. I am so thankful to South Alabama for the opportunities I have and for all I’m learning here, inside the classroom and outside. Now that I know this is where You wanted me to be, here’s my Camp Rock jam!
So, that is my prayer today. Thank you for leading me to this university. Thank you for the opportunities I have here. Thank you for giving me the courage to speak. Thank you for helping me find a home here. Thank you for giving me the confidence I needed. Thank you for showing me the light. Thank you for guiding my path. Thank you for being the voice in my head and showing me the words to the song I was meant to sing. Thank you for creating a purpose in me. I pray that I continue to follow you. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.