The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Academy provides student leadership

By Rhiannon Seagert/reporter

Members of the NE Campus Student Leadership Academy brainstormed Sept. 19 on ways to meet the organization’s primary goal – to better their community at every level.

Amity Womelsdorf and Alex Gurney of the NE student activities office led the discussion at the group’s first meeting of the school year, giving suggestions for projects.

SLA members said they plan to expand their efforts to get NE students involved in any way they can, asking students what causes they find most interesting and then challenging them to participate.

For instance, Womelsdorf said she hopes the SLA can begin holding on-campus events for high school students, making them familiar with options such as dual credit and financial aid. A college education begins with familiarity, she said, and by reaching out, SLA can encourage more teenagers to pursue a college education.

The word “community” doesn’t apply just to NE Campus, Womelsdorf said. The idea of the organization is to help students become used to leading community service efforts and then taking those skills with them to their own communities, she said.

But, before the organization can achieve its goals, she said, it needs to grow larger.

Womelsdorf said that NE has more extracurricular activities than almost any other campus, but she, as both a staff member and former student, notices a distinct detachment in most TCC students. To make the impact they’re hoping for, she said, SLA members must recruit students.

Members voiced many reasons for people to get involved. Brandon Van Wyk, a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fort Worth, said the SLA will help students “build more leadership and networking skills and helps to better the community.”

Another student, Roger Courtney, put it more succinctly: “Because the campus and the community need you.”

The task may seem daunting, but Womelsdorf and Gurney are optimistic.

“I’ve researched it for the past year and a half and worked with people on the university level,” Womelsdorf said. “My goal is to be inclusive of all students.”

The two hope that students will take leadership skills they learn in the SLA and apply them to other clubs and organizations. Both said they’ve noticed that many clubs at NE have little trouble getting started but lack focus.

“It’s hard to stay focused when there’s no direction,” Gurney said.

At the end of the semester, members will meet with those from SLA chapters at other colleges for a weekend leadership retreat at Camp Grady Spruce near Possum Kingdom Lake.

While she’s looking forward to the retreat, Womelsdorf said, “Organization and structure are more important to me than fun.”

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