Leadership Training (LT)

Danielle LoPrinzi

Leadership

For my STEP Signature Project I participated in an eight week long program in Columbus called Leadership Training (LT) and volunteered at the Columbus Speech and Hearing Center (CSHC). LT was about 15-20 hours per week and consisted of teachings, speakers, trainings, and meals. My volunteer work was about six hours each week, and I helped set up/clean up therapy sessions and engage with the clients. The primary objective of my project was to gain experience in leadership doing Leadership Training while seeking opportunities to practice my developing leadership skills while gaining experience in my field of interest.

I learned some very important lessons as a result of my Project. Leadership Training taught me the importance of being an open and vulnerable leader. I have grown in better knowing how to resolve conflict among other leaders and lead by example in this way. These concepts were outside of my comfort zone, but they contributed to a significant amount of personal growth. This summer gave me the chance to explore individual, group, and community values. I believe that I have increased my level of self-awareness and understanding of myself. I have learned how to better work effectively with others and exemplify teamwork. Through LT and the CSHC, I was able to use my leadership skills for the betterment of others. I have learned that I am capable of implementing the knowledge and skills that I have gained this summer into my future including my continuing education, career, family, friendships, and more. There are many things that I am passionate about, and I am confident that Leadership Training has equipped me to fulfill my aspirations in an effective way.

The summer was definitely a test of my independence and my character. This has undoubtedly been the busiest summer I have had but also one of the greatest. I was living away from home during the summer for the first time. I learned how to live with housemates and take care of things like grocery shopping, cooking, and paying rent. My Project taught me about the responsibilities that come with age and how to effectively manage them. Having a community to encourage me is something I found very helpful.

I have further recognized the world’s need for leaders. My completion of my leadership project can allow me to positively impact the community. I believe it will enable me to make an effective contribution to individuals and to The Ohio State University’s campus. Having participated in Leadership Training is beneficial for me both now and in the future in ways that are personally, socially, and intellectually challenging.

I was immersed in this Leadership Training community for many hours per week; the program was held all day each Sunday, as well as Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. The LT sessions, workshops, retreats, meals, and the community contributed to my personal transformation. On Sundays, I spent the whole day with my team of 13 men and women who were all striving to grow in leadership and in relationships with one another. Along with learning and growing together, we cooked meals with one another and played games together. This program enabled me to experience and build new relationships. LT has allowed me to show leadership in my church, which is very important to me, as faith is a big part of what makes me who I am.

On Wednesday nights, I met with my women’s small group. This group was comprised of six members. We discussed our lives, goals, and transformation. The six of us encouraged one another and kept each other accountable. Halfway through the program, I went to the LT women’s retreat. At the retreat, we were taught how important it is to rest. It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and determination to achieve our goals that we forget to take time for refreshment.

Throughout my project, I kept a journal. This was a helpful tool for me to use to take notes and reflect on my growth. I like having this journal to be able to look back on my notes and things I have learned this summer. It is encouraging to read through the ways I have seem development in so many areas of my life. Additionally, meeting consistently with a leadership mentor was beneficial for me to make sure that I was staying on track to achieve these intentions and goals that I had set for myself this summer.

Additionally, time spent gaining experience in my field of interest led to change and growth. This summer, I achieved my goal of gaining more experience in Speech-Language Pathology. I volunteered and observed at the Columbus Speech and Hearing Center. I was able to make connections while in Columbus which is important for my future career and aspirations.

The change and transformation that I have experienced this summer is valuable for my life. My personal growth and development is important and relates to my academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans. Contributing the quality of leadership to the world is so important. We need leaders throughout all areas of life. The world needs leaders to raise up even more leaders. My STEP Signature Project has helped me be who I want to be. After completing my undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences, I will attend graduate school and earn a master’s degree. I am very passionate about my future career and ultimately becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). I intend to be able to use my leadership skills and knowledge to fulfill the individual needs of people who seek out the services of an SLP. STEP has helped by giving me the confidence, patience, and leadership skills to accomplish these things.

I am confident that I will be able to use my skills to help patients to reach their own goals. It is so necessary to be a leader in this field of work. A speech pathologist provides services specific to individual needs of their patients. SLPs have to show a lot of initiative they need to be attentive and make therapy activities that best suit each individual client. SLPs evaluate speech, use many assessments, and treat clients. They have to come up with individualized plans to help patients reach their goals. Leadership is a very important characteristic that I will need as an SLP. Also, I am passionate about children and am excited about the possibility of working with them in my future career. Through LT and the CSHC, STEP has allowed me to develop leadership skills that I can use as I serve children in my future.