GCLC + ME – Devon King, 3rd Year BLA

All semester, being an ambassador has given me the opportunity to make new friendships and branch out with new experiences. Most recently in my time as a College of Environment and Design Ambassador, I attended a leadership conference with six of my Ambassador peers. Having never attended a ‘leadership’ conference before, I was unsure of what to expect. It was a full day of speakers, workshops, networking, and socializing. What could have been a very long and tedious day was instead a stimulating and inspiring day.

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 A few things surprised me about the conference. Most surprising was the fact that it was totally student-run. GCLC (Georgia Collegiate Leadership Conference, for short) had a ‘Leadership Resource Team’ that put the whole thing together- and did a great job. I thought their vision for how the conference was supposed to run was very clear, and their ideas well executed. Besides the fact that they all wanted to work together in the name of Leadership For Other Students, they all came from different backgrounds and areas of study. I was impressed with their collaboration in creating a functional and effective conference for different types of students all over Georgia.

 I also was surprised at the wide variety of workshops offered. They, too, were mostly student run. The workshops we had the options of attending ranged in topics from Social Media Outreach, Candy Crush Business Strategies, LGBTQ+ U, African American Men in Predominately White Southern University, and many, many other inspiring leadership discussions. Some workshops and lectures had 100+ people in attendance, some had less than 30, yet all that I attended were passionate and motivating. The speakers were specific and direct in sharing their goals, which inspired all seven of us CED Ambassadors to want to do the same in our little world of Landscape Architecture.

 We were all exhausted when the day was over, but not mentally. We all agreed on how cool it was to see students motivating other students. We saw that with a little encouragement everyone can leave behind a legacy of some type. Because we have more in common than most student groups- that is, a love and talent for Landscape Architecture- I know we can be just as, if not more, effective in positively influencing our peers. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester has in store!