Caroline Wilkerson ~ Staff Writer
During the weekend of Nov. 9-10, 2019, students from the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) represented the University of Lynchburg at the National Leadership Summit in Jersey City, New Jersey.
President of the NSLS chapter at the University of Lynchburg, Kimberly Mendez, said, “The leadership summit was an opportunity that I will never forget. Yes, it helped with growing leadership skills, communication skills, and team building, but it was so much more than that. As a senior, the summit helped me realize so much more about myself, and my skills as a leader and an asset to the world.”
Director of Second-Year, Transfer, and Non-Traditional Student Programs at the University of Lynchburg and advisor of Lynchburg’s NSLS chapter, Jonathan Fries, added, “Overall the NSLS Leadership Summit was a great opportunity to learn from some of today’s most influential and inspiring leaders. It was an opportunity to learn new leadership skills and to grow as a professional. Some of the takeaways from the conference I plan to to implement into some of the leadership presentations I do on campus and within the GS 104: College Success Course I teach.”
The National Society of Leadership and Success is a leadership society that currently has 1,110,590 members and 737 colleges nationwide. According to the national website, their mission is “Building leaders who make a better world.”
The Leadership Summit consisted of two full days of keynote speakers, leadership workshops, and networking sessions. NSLS chapters all over the country attended from as far as New Mexico to Arkansas to Ohio.
Some of the keynote speakers included Tiffany Pham, the founder and CEO of Mogul, a global platform enabling women through information access, economic opportunity, and education; Tayo Rockson, a media personality who co-founded UYD Management; and Aman Ali, an award winning storyteller in New York City and one of the most popular social media personalities in the Muslim community today.
Mendez said, “With all the activities, and especially the keynote speakers, it helped me understand that being a leader is not just leading; it entails compassion and empathy of others, that no one’s path is the same, and that you must know yourself as a human being first, and what drives you personally, before you can help anyone else. Each keynote speaker brought something new to the table, and each time, it was just as memorable as the one before.”
The Society Events Chair for NSLS, Lakaiah Robinson, also said, “The NSLS summit was a great experience. I learned a lot about how to succeed following graduation from college. Many of the speakers talked about finding something you’re passionate about and you will feel like you will never work a day in your life. This really spoke to me and now I am less confused about what I want to do once I graduate.”
Fries concluded, “I believe that this conference also benefited the students who were able to attend from the NSLS. They learned new leadership skills, had the opportunity to network with other student leaders from across the country, and better understand their passion and purpose. The summit provides students at the University of Lynchburg with the opportunity to hear and interact with nationally known leaders that they might not normally have the opportunity to learn from. The skills they learned and the information they bring back to campus, will help to support and grow the NSLS chapter at Lynchburg.”
Picture Description: Photo taken by Jonathan Fries. Pictured (Left to Right) Lakaiah Robinson, Kimberly Mendez, and Caroline Wilkerson. Picture of the three attendees at the NSLS Leadership Summit