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Follow the leader

Allezondra Metz wishes other students could experience the rich opportunities she and 16 other leadership students enjoyed at a weekend retreat.

“I think if everybody had a class like this or this opportunity, the world would be so much more productive,” said Metz, who is also the Art Connection Club president.

Joining the 17 student leaders were five NCC administrators and three faculty members. The leadership trip took place at the Kirkridge Retreat Center in Upper Mount Bethel Township.

“Honestly, I feel like it makes people realize that their actions really do speak louder than their words and you need to live with purpose,” Metz said. “Even if you don’t know what that purpose is, through this class, you will find it.”

The Student Leadership program is a free, 10-week course that gives students a chance to develop their leadership potential while meeting with CEOs and corporate executives from around the Lehigh Valley. The class is paid for entirely by an anonymous donor and provides students with free books, transportation and light meals.

This year’s student leadership class at the Kirkridge Retreat Center

During the weekend retreat, the students learned about the five key roles of leadership.

“The five key roles of leadership are challenging the process, modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, enabling others to act and encouraging the heart,” Business Administration major Thomas Sparling said.

The retreat involved a discussion about different aspects of leadership while identifying them in movie clips or real life applications, such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech.

Sparling provided his own definition of leadership.
“Leadership to me is being an excellent person. Finding the right balance in life and the right thing to do in every situation because if the situation is different, it’s going to require different words. They may have all the same meanings in the end, but sometimes, it’s the way you phrase it that counts.”

Students and faculty from the student leadership class enjoying their weekend retreat

The class’ overall goal is to broaden critical thinking in the development of leadership skills. Metz noticed the changes in her leadership already.

“This is something I’m going to be proud of and I am proud of. I didn’t think I would ever be doing what I am today. If you would have met me a year ago, you would be like, ‘Who are you?’ It totally inspires me to keep moving forward and inspire others to change too.”