Article by: Jeff Fish and Kelly Harvell
The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, formerly known as Student Activities, has made an impression on Suffolk’s young leaders with the formation of an experimental program.
The Journey, which was created last year, aims to help students gain and develop strong leadership skills throughout their tenure at Suffolk by having them discover what they want as a career after graduation by giving them experience in multiple fields.
David DeAngelis, Director of SLI, oversees The Journey and is glad that the program is beginning to garner more attention. “People are hearing about [The Journey] now because it’s building momentum. More students are signing up to be a part of the program,” said DeAngelis. The program “looks at leadership happening throughout campus and brings those opportunities to one common place.”
The main ideas of The Journey, or “cornerstones,” are a requirement for those involved. The cornerstones are Leadership Training, Service, Involvement, and Career Exploration, and each “offers a variety of experiences,” according to a brochure.
Each cornerstone includes programs or activities already offered through the university, such as Alternative Spring Break in the Service Cornerstone, or being a Teaching Assistant in the Involvement Cornerstone. Each activity is ranked, three stars is the highest, which are activities that require the highest levels of commitment. For example, students may opt to do a resume workshop (one star), independent study (two stars), and an internship or co-op (three stars).
There are four levels of The Journey and to complete a level, students must earn at least ten stars per year as well as attend different leadership retreats.
These programs are meant to get students excited to become involved, according to DeAngelis. “For example, a lecture on time management is not exciting. Let’s go to the Boston Globe and talk to them about their deadline to learn about time management.”
Last weekend, The Journey hosted its annual leadership retreat in New Hampshire.
“There were a few sessions run by student leaders that gave other leaders the opportunity how other clubs work,” said sophomore Megan Caron, a second level member of The Journey. “We were able to form communications with other leaders which will hopefully lead to a stronger connection all around campus. [The Journey] has opened up numerous leadership opportunities and I have had nothing but positive experiences.”
Programs such as The Journey also help to boost resumes and can be an asset in the post-college job search.
“Having good grades is important when searching for a job after graduation, but if you have good grades and experience, you’re a shoo- in,” said DeAngelis.