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Year 4 September Conference Video


Several graduates of the 2018-2019 program year convened at this past September conference. Though they were not required to attend, they made an effort to come back and act as mentors for the previous cohorts. One of these attempts to connect with their fellow scholars and encourage them to stay in the program was to film this short video. The GLSLP staff is incredibly proud of our graduates, past and present, and appreciate their efforts to improve rural NC!

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Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Erykah Cooke

Year 2 scholar Erykah Cooke completed her summer 2019 internship at Fordham Brokers in Lenoir County, NC. Erykah’s supervisor, Michelle Fordham, said, “Throughout her internship, Erykah participated in a professional community outreach with other businesses on behalf of Fordham Brokers. I am sure she will be a Golden LEAF and eastern NC success story!”

What do you enjoy most about your internship? What I enjoy the most about my internship is that it is a self-owned business and my supervisor is her own boss. I learned from last year’s internship experience that working for someone who is their own boss can be cumbersome when I have complaints of the work I am doing, but I gave it another try, and I love it here. I also get insight on what it is like being my own boss and the pros/cons of being able to make my own schedule and being self-employed.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome so far in my internship is that it is just me and Ms. Michelle, which means that all the work needed to keep the business afloat falls solely on us. There isn’t much room for error either when it comes to our work. How I overcome these obstacles is pacing myself through my work and making a daily schedule of what needs to be completed.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? The self-awareness aspect of the leadership program has been particularly helpful during my internship.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? My ability to move forward in my field of study has been enhanced by my internship because I get to see what Family and Community Services means. I see what it means to be active in the community, how important it is to meet others and to lend a helping hand.

Which professional-level skill(s) listed by your supervisor has/have proved to be the most challenging to develop? Negotiations have been the most challenging skill for me to develop, primarily because I want people to only be able to do what they can afford; however, if I don’t negotiate a high enough price that will generate revenue for the business, I won’t make any money. Selling properties is bittersweet for me. 

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Coaches’ Corner: Monette Ayers

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? 2 years.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach? I wanted to give back to my community and I love working with young adults!

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars? The Values Explorer because if they don’t identify their values, they will struggle with identifying their career paths and life purpose.

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life? How to mentor others, networking skills, and building relationships in all walk’s of life.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? 5 years – working in their chosen fields; 10 years – coaching with the GLSLP!

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Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Rachel Perry

Year 3 scholar Rachel Perry is completing her summer 2019 internship at the Cradle of Forestry in America in Transylvania County, NC. Rachel’s supervisor, Stephanie Bradley, says “We are interested in Rachel helping us to connect to the local rural community and use our garden as an outreach tool.”

What do you enjoy most about your internship? I really enjoy the freedom they’ve given me. I have my own projects and spend a fair portion of my time planning and executing steps to keep those projects moving forward.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? I suppose the largest obstacle was finding where I fit with the staff. I’m a bit of an outlier in terms of my job description but I’d say the confidence and the support I’ve received from previous GLSLP experiences have allowed me to keep moving forward in both my internship and my projects.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? The experiences from my past internships helped prepare me for this position. Last summer I had my own duties and I was expected to help with other obligations of the farm. That taught me about taking the internship on as a personal interest. In other ways, just being a part of the program helped prepare me for keeping things moving and taking things one step at a time.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? I wanted experience working with the public this summer; however, this internship came with much more excitement, more opportunities, and more experiences than I ever anticipated. Working here has helped me pinpoint the kind of work I’d like to move into after graduation.

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Coaches’ Corner: Shoneca Kent

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? 3 years.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach? I knew several other coaches who had been part of the program for several years. They mentioned so many wonderful aspects of the program, including it being an opportunity for students in rural areas to engage in leadership development. I previously had the opportunity to serve as a mentor and supervisor to college students and found the experience to be very rewarding. I wanted to continue to be a part of helping students develop into great leaders.

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars?
I think the Values Explorer activity during conferences is most beneficial to the scholars because their values are their motivations that will guide them through their lives and careers. Being able to name your values is crucial in developing what you seek in a career, in the people you surround yourself with, in deciding what boards to serve, and other important moments of your lives.

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life? Something I have learned at the conferences that has been particularly useful in my day-to-day life is the importance of communication. When initially meeting first-year scholars at the January conference, it is important to communicate my expectations of them as scholars and their expectations of me as a coach. This is important in day-to-day life as well because I always have opportunities to meet new people who I may integrate into my work. It is important that we communicate our expectations of one another sooner rather than later.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? Years from now, I hope to see my scholars thriving in their chosen professions or attending their preferred graduate or professional school. I hope to see them living their dreams and all of their hard work in school, internships, and development programs paying off in the most positive returns. I hope we are still in touch with each other, providing updates on life and assisting with developing our goals into reality.

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Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Sarah Yang

Year 3 scholar Sarah Yang is completed her summer 2019 internship at the Catawba County Science Center in Catawba County, NC. Sarah’s supervisor, Erin Graves, says “Sarah was an awesome intern for us, particularly in staffing our seasonal Flutterby butterfly habitat. She taught visitors about the life cycles of the insect, their habitat needs, and their characteristics. She also helped facilitate magical moments for our visitors by helping them entice a butterfly to land on their fingers (with the help of a sugar solution). Sarah stayed joyful and helpful, even when hot and sticky!”

What do you enjoy most about your internship? I enjoy incorporating science with fun, engaged people who are interested in learning more about how science is used in our daily lives.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? Working with butterflies was really difficult because I have a fear of butterflies, but what helped was establishing a professional relationship with them and by seeing the smiles of everyone visiting the butterfly house.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? The GLSLP has helped me be open-minded with the challenges that come my way and be flexible with those challenges. I have learned to be accepting of change and how this can shape me to be a better person and leader.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? This internship has helped me appreciate the sciences and how there are innovative ways to get people, especially children, to learn the sciences. It has also helped me to understand the different aspects of the science field and that there are so many paths that I can take in biology.

Which professional-level skill(s) listed by your supervisor has/have proved to be the most challenging to develop? It was difficult to create new ways for people to be interested in the exhibits that we have at the science center. I have a new appreciation for teachers because they are able to teach and come up with new things to keep the subject interesting for their students. 

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Coaches’ Corner: Stephanie Loflin

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? 4 years.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach? I became a coach because I did not have the support I needed when I was headed off to college. I waited until I was in my late 20’s to start college just because I was not sure what I wanted to study. Once I was around people who supported and encouraged me everything seemed to fall into place. I became a coach because I wanted to make sure that I could help others in the way that helped me most! Support and encouragement can go a long ways and I want to offer my scholars all that they deserve.

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars? I think taking the personality test is most beneficial to the scholars. It can often be an eye opener to what works best for them. It is also helpful to share with others the outcome. Often talking about yourself can be hard to do but in the conference setting it makes scholars more eager to open up to discussions.

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life? I love learning about how to give and receive feedback. It has made me more aware in all avenues of my life how to address giving feedback. I feel more confident in giving feedback that is useful and not overbearing. It also helped me to take feedback and use it to progress rather than focusing on the negative.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? I hope to see all my scholars working somewhere that they are passionate about. It is easy to take a job just to get a paycheck but I feel that the leadership program is helping to avoid that. Going out into the workforce while still studying in college helps to gain access into what they really want out of their degree. I want them to be successful and prepared to tackle anything that comes their way.

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Coaches’ Corner: Briana Graham

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? 2 years.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach? I became a GLSLP coach to help college students from rural counties understand the value of their education and the opportunity to help improve rural North Carolina. I want to make sure they thrive in college and become leaders in their communities.

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars? I think the Values Explorer activity is the most beneficial at conferences. It requires the scholars to think about what they value in a leader and to make sure they also exhibit those qualities as they progress.

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life?Conferences are beneficial to coaches because they also experience the leadership activities. We learn how to communicate effectively with our scholars and ensure they are progressing through the program.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? Years from now I hope to see my scholars happy. I hope to see them in the jobs they love and fostering healthy relationships in their career and personal lives.

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Coaches’ Corner: Samantha Zelin

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? This is my first year.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach?
I wanted to give back to the community. I have heard great things about GLSLP scholars and coaches and wanted to be a part of this wonderful program. These students inspire me.

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars?
I actually asked my scholars what they thought about the conference and what learnings they had. All four of them said that they really benefited from the MBTI test and subsequent real-life examples of how people think and react. They said it’s been helpful in navigating their own lives as well as being able to relate to their peers.

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life? The MBTI results! It was so helpful to turn the different letters into real actions and behaviors. I learn best with real-life examples, and this is something that stuck with me.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? I hope to see my scholars happy and engaged with their communities. I hope they all achieve their current goals and continue striving for what they want out of their lives

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Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Madison Bradburn

Year 2 scholar Madison Bradburn is completing her summer 2019 internship at Cooper Creek Trout Farm in Swain County, NC. Madison’s supervisor, Gerry Laschober, is very grateful to have her as an intern for the second summer in a row: “Trout fingerlings are very sensitive to ultraviolet light and Madison has developed a curtain that we can use to reduce their exposure to it.”

What do you enjoy most about your internship? I most enjoy how satisfying it is to watch my fish grow up. I raise 250,000 trout by hand from their eggs and getting to watch their development is amazing. My favorite parts are the hatching and the swimming up process (which is when the newborn fish fully absorb their egg sacs and learn how to swim). The better of a job I do, the more fish live and the better they grow. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that I’m doing a good job when I see all of my trout happy and healthy.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? Anxiety. Raising so many fish at once means anything can go wrong at any time. It is nerve-wracking. One wrong slip and I could damage equipment or kill some of the fish. I don’t want to hurt my fish, seeing them happy is, as I answered above, my favorite part of the internship so seeing them get hurt is my least. I’m working at the same internship site as last year and during that experience my supervisor and I made a huge mistake while working on hatching new eggs. The mistake ended up killing around 80,000 fish in one day and coming back to the site I have struggled with anxiety over causing that sort of catastrophe again. This time when we hatched eggs I was nervous and tense; redoing something that I had failed immensely at before was much harder than I’d anticipated even though Gerry assured me last year that it wasn’t my fault. What most helped me overcome my nerves was my coworkers encouraging me and Gerry being so understanding that I was nervous. When I utilized and listened to my team, I felt better and more assured with myself. This year has really taught me to not be scared and to rely on others, and hatching went perfectly this time around!

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? Communication. This last conference specifically we did a lot of exercises involving communication and I’ve found that a lot of the skills we practiced there have helped me this summer. We did one exercise involving describing shapes and colors while we were blindfolded and while I kind of felt silly at the time, a lot of the problem solving I’ve had to do this summer has reminded me of that exercise. Cooper Creek is split into five main parts: the hatchery where I work, the outside tanks, the lake, the catch-out, and the gift shop. Communicating problems across these spaces can be difficult especially considering that, due to hygiene protocols, I can’t enter certain spaces or I risk carrying in contaminates on my shoes the next time I go to the hatchery. Certain people can’t enter the hatchery for the same reason. Verbal communication is difficult when separated and surrounded by constant running water, so I’ve learned how to use hand signals to tell Gerry if the hatchery is in good condition or if it isn’t, what is wrong. It’s a very odd sort of language, but it works for us.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? I’ve been studying the texts we have on site and comparing them to my own notes. What I want as a writer and as someone who loves science and farming is for information to be more accessible. A lot of the information we have is complicated and drawn out and, to a degree, it serves its purpose, but farming in the real world is so different from testing variables in a lab and writing at a desk. I want to be able to make a more practical guide to fish farming and being on-site has definitely helped me grasp what’s most important to communicate. I’m even learning stuff that I haven’t found in the in site text! I’m excited to add what I’m learning to the farm!

Which professional-level skill(s) listed by your supervisor has/have proved to be the most challenging to develop? Honesty. Like I said, anxiety is a big hurdle on the farm and as a result it can be hard to go to my supervisor as say “I made this mistake.” or “There’s a problem.” I don’t want things to go wrong, so sometimes when they do I can be tempted to just ignore the problems, but that’s not professional and it’s not good for my fish. Communicating failures is an essential part of not only this internship, but of any job, and it’s very stressful, but necessary. I think a good professional skill to have is being able to take feedback, even negative. It’s hard to admit you messed up, or that you were wrong, but sometimes you have to and I think that’s the professional level skill I’m really learning in this internship. Taking responsibility for mistakes may not be fun, but it’s better than letting problems fester.

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Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Trente Dickens

Year 2 scholar Trente Dickens completed his summer 2019 internship at Riverside Veterinary Hospital in Nash County, NC. Trente quickly became the favorite around the office and his supervisor, Melonie Hammack, has agreed to let him stay on for the rest of the summer though his internship has ended.

What do you enjoy most about your internship? I enjoy being able to interact with many different kinds of animals as well as learning to understand the bond they have with their owners and the vet staff.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? One of my biggest obstacles was learning to trim black nails. I had an incident where I cut the nail too close, causing it to bleed excessively; however I didn’t let this hinder my confidence and continued to trim nails of sedated pets for practice.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? I think conflict resolution has been very helpful. There are times when disagreements can come up or someone may have misheard me and I just have to remain calm and kindly come to an agreement.

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Coaches’ Corner: Tracy Pittman

Tracy works as the Director of Operations and Procedures at Wilson Youth United in her hometown of Wilson, NC.

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? 5 years.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach?
What inspired me to become a GLSLP coach was to be able to make a positive impact on the young adults in the community. Becoming a GLSLP coach has created a platform to support scholars as they navigate through their academic studies and create an awesome portfolio that they will need throughout their career.

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars?
I think the most beneficial learning objective at the conference is the team building activities. The activities help them to identify their strengths and weaknesses so that they may work on those characteristics to become better. It also teaches them how to be team players and reminds them that sometimes it takes a team to accomplish a common goal.

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life? One thing that I have learned at the conference is not to take things at face value. There is a whole world out there experiencing the same issues as my community. Learning about other counties and the passion that the scholars have for their counties is heartfelt. It’s good when you can look for something positive in any situation and it gives you hope.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? I hope to see my scholars graduating with their Masters or Doctorate and living their best life in their career field.

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Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Victoria Elledge

Year 2 scholar Victoria Elledge is completing her summer 2019 internship at “I CAN” Pediatric Speech Therapy in Wilkes County, NC. Her supervisor, Haylee Church, says “Victoria has done awesome this whole summer. She has  really stepped up and been really independent. I’m super excited and proud of her! I hope to see her as a speech therapist one day.

What do you enjoy most about your internship? My favorite part of my internship is being able to gain experience working in my dream job and with my ideal demographic. I want to be a Speech Language Pathologist, working with children facing social determinants of health, and that is exactly the demographic I work with and job position I shadow at my internship site.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? I had to become accustomed to the work environment at my internship site. I have never worked or shadowed at a therapy clinic, so this was a completely new experience for me. To adjust to my new environment, I relied on my leadership training from the GLSLP and my drive for success.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? I really rely on my Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI) and FIRO-B test. My results help me remember my strengths in the workplace and the areas for improvement. It also reminds me that other people are different from me and having varying needs. I think it helps me be the best intern I can be.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? In my internship, I get countless hours of hands-on experience like assisting in speech therapy sessions, writing visit notes, assisting with speech and language with evaluations, developing care plans, and so much more. This is experience has proved to me that I love my intended career and want to keep pursuing this dream.

Which professional-level skill(s) listed by your supervisor has/have proved to be the most challenging to develop? The most difficult professional-level skill to develop is problem-solving for children with special needs or adaptations. It can be difficult to design therapy goals and session topics when children have multiple sensory, communication, occupational, and physical needs.

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Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Donielle Totten

Year 2 scholar Donielle Totten is completing his summer 2019 internship at Finch Blueberry Nursery in Nash County, NC. His supervisor, Dan Finch, says “Donielle is an exemplary model of a fine young person to represent the GLSLP. He has the ability to go far.”

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome is adjusting to the type of work done here and the time it takes to complete each task with a purpose of accomplishment. I have learned to do multiple tasks, such as how to cut and stick crops, and I even managed to build a greenhouse. I really had to adjust and take in as much information as possible.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? The biggest aspect I have had to use from the leadership program is communication. I have had to communicate effectively in order to get work done and stay on track with everyone else.

Which professional-level skill(s) listed by your supervisor has/have proved to be the most challenging to develop? The collaboration standpoint and responsibility has been the main skill here that I’ve performed most and that is something I expected. It’s important work for a variety of people and you are handed necessary tasks that must be executed properly. That is often done by working alongside coworkers who are useful when you come across an obstacle you may not be able to tackle on your own.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? Working at a blueberry nursery has motivated me to continue on my path of working for the environment and continuing to appreciate what nature and hard work can produce.

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Coaches’ Corner: Jamie Warner

A native of Raeford, NC, Jamie works as an agricultural agent at NC Cooperative Extension in Troy, NC.

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? 5 years.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach?
I became a Golden LEAF coach because a friend of mine told me how great this program was. I could not wait to be part of a program that supported young people and urged them to work in their “home counties.”

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars?
I think the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) tool is probably the most beneficial to the scholars. When you learn your own personality type and learn how to interact with others, you can navigate just about any situation. Scholars continuously tell me how this helped them with their school, work, and home life.

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life? I learn more than the scholars do every time I come to a conference. I have really enjoyed learning about the MBTI types, the growth mindset, and more. Being a coach for the GLSLP has made me better at my job. It has made me a better speaker and a better presenter to my community.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? In five years, I hope that they have graduated from their university/college. I hope they start seeking a job and become employed right away. For those that want to go to grad school, I hope that they get accepted and become the leader that I always knew that they would be.

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Coaches’ Corner: Brittany Harris

Originally from Hoke County, NC, Brittany works as an admissions counselor at Bennett College in Greensboro, NC.

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? This is my first year as a coach.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach? I was a Golden LEAF scholar and my coach Maril Elliott actually inspired me. She really made a difference in all of our lives.

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars? Values Explorer is definitely the most meaningful. It allows them to physically see the things they hold near and dear. It allows them to make decisions about who they are and who they want to be.

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life? As I scholar I viewed the DAC model in terms of school only. As an adult in the workforce and dealing with everyday tasks I find that it has helped me shape what it is I want and effectively go get it.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? I hope to see Gabriel being the best city planner possible while maintaining a good work life balance. Thankfully, he learned at an early age there is more to life than money. I hope to see Emily and Alexia changing the face of healthcare in rural areas and following through with turning their passions into careers. I hope to see Sekret continuing her education because rural NC needs someone who is genuinely passionate about our children and understanding of their upbringing. Ten years from now hopefully they’ll be like my cohort, sharing wedding invitations, job promotions, coaching, family, etc.

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Coaches’ Corner: Scott Elliott

Scott works as a supervisory air operations specialist at the Pope Army Airfield in Cumberland County, NC.

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? 6 years.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach? I have a diverse background in education, as well as 26 years active duty military and now work in aircrew operations as a civilian employee. I have always made goal setting a priority for myself and others. I enjoy working with young adults and have four grown children of my own. I believe in early leadership training and the impact it has on individuals, organizations, and community.

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars?
The DAC model that is presented to year one scholars gives the foundation for leadership in ways that are undeniable. Direction establishes the vision, goal-setting and mission to be accomplished. Alignment provides the clear understanding of responsibilities in an organized manner. Commitment gives the sense of mutual trust and collective work. The three elements are interdependent for effective leadership

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life? The Situation, Behavior, Impact (SBI) model is very useful in giving feedback in the workplace. I use it frequently.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? I fully expect to see them reaching their career goals and making a difference in their communities.

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Coaches’ Corner: Gina Hayes

Gina works as a guidance counselor at Davidson County Schools.

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? 3 years.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach? My life’s purpose is inspiring positive change in youth. When I found out about GLSLP and their impact on youth, it was a no brainer that I wanted to be a part of this program. Being a coach gives me an opportunity to influence lives across rural North Carolina. I also get to see the results of my impact which does not happen often in my current profession.

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars?
I believe scholars figuring out their top five values [Values Explorer] is most beneficial. They inherently think of themselves first, so figuring out their values helps them begin a conversation of how to align everything they do based on these values.

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life? Working with the scholars and learning their behaviors and weaknesses has been particularly useful for me. I work with high school students on a daily basis. Understanding what some of these college students lack (which mostly pertains to social and emotional learning) helps me know what I need to focus on with my high school students to better prepare them for their post-secondary plans.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? I hope to see all of my scholars graduate from college and pursue the next steps they have created throughout the program. I also hope after four years of interning in their rural communities that they find a way to continue to invest in them after graduating college. I know that some scholars may want to explore areas outside of their current community, but I hope they will always view their current county as “home” and find a way to invest their time, talents, and/or money

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Coaches’ Corner: L. Montrel Miller

A resident of Southport, Montrel works full-time as the Outreach Director at Brunswick Housing Opportunities in Bolivia, NC.

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? 5 years.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach?
I was referred by a colleague that explained the goals of the program. These goals aligned with my philosophy of developing young leaders and empowering them to seek higher education away from home, then returning home to lead. This program gives rural youth a head start in the professional world.

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars?
Two of the most beneficial components of the scholars’ training are the Direction, Alignment, Commitment (DAC) leadership model and the re-training of mindsets. Leadership development encourages these youths to have structure and purpose in their duties and presents methods to enhance people to follow them. The mindset model allows for scholars to retrain their thinking in a way that is positive and beneficial versus the proverbial entitled or defeatist mentality.

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life? Having a growth mindset has gained relevance in my everyday professional life. It has broken barriers of complacency and helped maintain a positive outlook at the end of my longer days.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? I hope my scholars enjoy impactful and fulfilling careers. Lucrative jobs are a goal for everyone, but the jobs that benefit the communities they grew up in are the most fulfilling. This allows for those that are like them and people around them to grow upon the success that they have accomplished.

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Coaches’ Corner: Christin Brown

A native of Dare county, Christin works for the NC Aquarium as an education curator at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

How long have you been a GLSLP coach? 5 years.

What inspired you to become a GLSLP coach? I am an educator and have worked with students ranging in ages from K to college age for years. I really enjoy that the program allows me to use my skills as an educator but also allows me the opportunity to grow as a coach and a leader. The program has taught me to be a better mentor to interns at my job and has made me a better leader in my department. I continue to coach because I feel that each year I become better and learn from the scholars.

What learning objective or activity utilized at conferences (i.e. DAC, Values Explorer, etc.) do you think is most beneficial to the scholars?I believe the Freshmen year conference where they learn about leading with self is very valuable. Learning about your personality and how you may respond to different situations. Learning about careers that may be best based upon your personality. Also appreciate that students learning that being an introvert does not mean you are afraid or incapable of leading and public speaking. Being an introvert just means you get your energy from your “downtime” not from being surrounded by people. It is also important for scholars to learn how to lead, through direction, alignment and commitment.

What is something you may have learned at conferences that has been particularly useful in your day-to-day life? I love and often share with friends and colleagues that feedback is a gift. It can be delivered in a way that is meant to open us up to our blind side so we can learn from the feedback. Delivering feedback can be short and simple and not involve emotion, state the situation, the behavior and its impact on you.

Where do you hope to see the scholars in your coaching group five years from now? I hope to see Haley working as a second grade teacher at a school in her home county, Austin opening up his own environmental consulting firm, and Adam graduating from PA school and eventually working in a hospital.

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The Dawn of a New Age – Digital Engagement & Reverse Mentoring

As Year 4 Scholars present a thank you to Dan Gerlach, President of the Golden LEAF Foundation, we see the Digital Visual Explorer mosaic in the background.

“The teacher and the student create the learning” is a statement I heard years ago and has always resonated with me. When I first heard the statement, it spoke truth to me about the interdependence of learning—a mutual process dependent on the learned and learner to exchange information in a dance for the benefit of increased exploration.

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Leadership Advisory Council (LAC) Summit

Earlier in November, the new members of the 2018-2019 GLSLP Leadership Advisory Council convened at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro. They met with the GLSLP staff to discuss goals for their fellow scholars this upcoming year. The new members participated in team building activities, event planning sessions, and were able to talk via phone to the President of the Golden LEAF Foundation, Dan Gerlach. These leadership activities allowed them open up to each other and develop peer relationships.

“Getting to meet with the GLSLP staff and see the LAC board in person allowed us to create the needed bonds to help us during our term. It was a great experience to meet with this group and we can’t wait to serve on the LAC board this year!” -New LAC member and Year 3 scholar, Taylor Chappell

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Internship Site Spotlight 2018: Braxton Nelson

Year 1 scholar Braxton Nelson completed his summer 2018 internship at Caldwell Heritage Museum in Lenoir, NC. Below is an interview with Braxton regarding his internship experience.

What do you enjoy most about your internship? “I love being able to go into work every day and learn more about my community, and work to preserve our history, heritage, and culture. I also really enjoy being able to have a hands on experience in my field of study, and explore career options on the field.”

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? “I think discovering my personality type and my own strengths and weaknesses at the January conference helped me greatly in knowing the areas that I need to work on while interning. When facing challenges, they’ve given me the ability to better understand how I can best face the issue.”

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Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program 2018 Superlatives of the Year Awards

Scholar of the Year, Sawyer Lee

Selected from a pool of more than 300 scholars this year, the 2018 Scholar of the Year Award was given to Sawyer Lee, a high-performing individual who makes a significant and long-lasting impact on the future of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program. Sawyer has been described as punctual, ambitious, patient, considerate, resourceful and reliable.

In reading the evaluation comments written by his supervisor, the original goals for Sawyer’s internship quickly changed when they saw just how eager he was to learn and grow. He served as a constant reminder of why they chose to become involved in the program. His supervisor goes on to say they hold him up as an example of someone possessing the character exemplifying the mission of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program.

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Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program 2018 Rising Star Superlatives

Braxton Nelson, Year 1 Rising Star

Braxton Nelson received this award for being recognized by his supervisor as someone “not afraid to get in the trenches and work.” In addition, Braxton completed all of the necessary paperwork on time during the course of this program year! He not only worked the required number of hours for the summer internship, but also volunteered at other locations within his community during this same time period.Braxton was asked to be on the Caldwell Historical Society Board, which he joined. Although not a voting member, he still participates in board meetings and offers ideas and suggestions. Congratulations to 2018 Year 1 Rising Star award winner, Braxton Nelson!

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GLSLP Alumnus Wins Award at Former Internship Site

Marc Danks, a recent graduate of UNC-Wilmington with a B.S. in social work and a member of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program (GLSLP) Class of 2018, has received a service award at his former internship site, Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, NC. A native of Wayne County, Danks began his summer internship as a second-year scholar in 2016 and, after completing his required hours, remained committed to his duties at the hospital. For his tremendous work at Cherry Hospital, Danks was the recipient of the Edythe O. Blanton Volunteer Service Award.

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Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program
Center for Creative Leadership
1 Leadership Pl.
Greensboro, NC 27410

Julie Griffin | Program Director
griffinj@ccl.org
(336) 286-4412 | Fax: (336) 286- 4434

Copyright . Golden LEAF Foundation. Website by DayOne.