Leadership experience – STEP

(Side note: I tried to add a photo and it just wouldn’t accept or upload any!)

Samuele Asfaha


For my STEP project, I served a leadership position dedicated to empowering the youth in the community through education. I was able to provide programming for students in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties (Maryland) in the forms of after-school tutoring, leadership development, a junior chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, League of United Latin American Citizen councils, college preparation and drop-out prevention programs.

I learned that there are many bright minds that exist. They might not be in the best living conditions but they are definitely leaders in the making. There are so many misguided individuals in this world that only look for a sign of hope. Something or someone they could grasp on to for guidance and direction. I learned how impactful this organization is on our youth. They can start from such a young age and build to be a future leader of America. I learn that there is others just like me, who want to help and encourage our youth to strive to their fullest potential. Most importantly I learned the value of education within our youth. This is the pipeline that will build onto a life of success and accomplishments.

This opportunity impacted me by giving me confidence within the education system. It gave me the confidence to believe in those that were left with unfortunate conditions. Before this position, I had been an open minded individual. I just never knew the influence I was able to have on younger students. I have been able to come to realize that, with the motivation needed, anything is possible. As a minority myself, this reaffirms that there are no boundaries that can be set up to make you fail if you go out and get. It is all about the desire to make something of yourself.

This experience has given me the desire to continue to succeed at the rate that I do. It has been able to provide me more resources outside of the classroom in order to succeed. It has been able to push me to be even better than the person next to me because of the high academic of some the students’ and children. My life goals have been centralized. I have been able to see the motivation from my presence and want to be able to do the same to others in the near future. Seeing all those students’ heading off to college was a great moment that had shown me that I could truly make an impact on minorities.

I’ve got to say that my favorite part of this STEP project was the ability to influence the minds of individuals of all ages. Being able to have them look up to me as a role model. Having the great opportunity to watch them grow as the summer progressed. I can truly say that the experience these youth had was a meaningful one to both them and me. We were able to bond on many issues that we felt were commonplace in society today. I was fascinated by the intellect that these kids had as well as the high schools students.

Leadership Step Reflection


IMG_3642     IMG_3574

Name: Kaylee Siffert


Type of Project: Leadership

For my STEP project, I traveled to Tampa, Florida to attend the American Association for Respiratory Care Congress. This event consisted of top respiratory care professionals sharing the newest research in the field. Several of my professors and graduates of Ohio State presented throughout the conference.  I spent my time in Florida attending presentations and learning about exciting advancements that are currently happening in medicine, as well as doing a little sightseeing in Tampa.

When I first planned this project I was a little apprehensive. I thought I would be traveling alone, spending most of the trip alone, and just attending a bunch of presentations. I was also a little worried because I tend to be shy and attending a giant conference is a little outside of my comfort zone. However, as soon as I walked onto my plane, I saw several of my professors. The fear of being alone quickly disappeared and I was able to focus on making great connections. Once at the conference, I realized that I was probably one of the youngest in attendance. However, this was to my benefit because most people were impressed and excited that I was attending a national conference before even graduating college. I realized that age didn’t matter because we were all just as excited about the field of respiratory. I was even able to share ideas and give fresh perspectives, because I was still in school. This conference showed me that being passionate about what you do, and making connections with others that are just as passionate, is the most important thing you can do for your career.

When we arrived in Tampa, I found out that I was staying at the same hotel as three of my professors. They took a cab with me and then invited me to eat dinner with them. We met up for dinner, and two graduates from the Ohio State respiratory program joined us. We all quickly became friends and I spent the rest of the evening with them, meeting other people at the conference. I got to talk to therapists from across the nation. Many of them encouraged me to come to their hospitals during my senior practicum, because they wanted to give me an opportunity to work with them. At one point, I had been talking to a group of people for a while when my friend told me that one of them was the future president of the AARC. I was so surprised that he was just casually conversing with me.  I had no idea that I was going to be in direct contact with some of the most prominent figures of the event. I even got to take a selfie with the future AARC president.

The next day six seniors from the Ohio State respiratory program joined us in Tampa. It was great to spend time with them, since they are my mentors in the program. Together we attended many presentations, many of which were put on by our professors. It was eyeopening to see my professors sharing their research and knowing that my class gets to benefit from their knowledge. One of my professors even won an impressive award.  It became very evident as to why Ohio State has one of the best respiratory programs in the nation.

The two graduates from the program were also selected to present the research that they did during their senior year. I found that exciting, because that could eventually be me. Hearing about everyone’s research has helped to spark ideas of what I would like to research during my senior year. I also got to see some of the newest technology in respiratory at the expo. There are many new inventions that I will probably be using once I am a part of the medical field. An added bonus of the expo was that I won a raffle and got a free iPod touch!

I never could have imagined all the connections I was going to make through this project. I got to know my professors, OSU graduates, and respiratory therapy professionals from across the nation. I now have a list of people I can contact when I have questions or need recommendations. Their passion for the field has also made me certain that I chose the right degree. Respiratory is not the most known field, but everyone I met is incredibly motivated about changing that. I’m so excited to be able to contribute to the research that they are doing. Academically, I now have so much more appreciation for the respiratory program at Ohio State. I always knew it was a spectacular program, but seeing the work my professors and graduates are doing solidified that. I have the opportunity to do great things with my time in the program, and I hope I can do just that. Attending this conference has definitely made me want to achieve higher goals.  I look forward to attending the conference in the future, and someday present my own work there.