Growing up in my family, you were considered a self-starter if you did your homework without being told (reminded, nagged…threatened). My parents also impressed upon us the importance of “having a plan.” Me personally? I considered my life well planned if I had lined up a date for The Next Big Dance. That’s about as far into the future as I thought back then. Today’s NDP student takes far greater interest and initiative in much weightier concerns, and is considerably more forward thinking. I refer you back to last week’s post on school clubs as proof. In the course of research for that article, I learned of a fairly new club not mentioned in that post and worthy of its own highlight. It is the Student-Alumnae Leadership Club, entirely the brainchild of a group of current seniors and a brilliant concept. As explained to me by the club president, senior Madison Niller, the mission of the club is to bring together successful alumnae and current students in a forum where they can discuss and learn about leadership in college, career, and community. The fact that these young girls are not only thinking ahead, but also want to take a leadership role in all they do as they move forward through life is quite impressive. Madison told me the story of how the club was born.
“Last year, when we were juniors, we attended an assembly during which some alumnae spoke about their careers and their roles as leaders in their various communities. We were so impressed with what they had to say, we just thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could connect with alum on a regular basis?'”
With that idea in mind, Madison, and her cohorts, Gabby Beese, Taylor Hineline, and Natalie Anderson drew up a strategic plan for a new Student Alumnae Leadership Club, complete with a mission statement, a rationale, guidelines, and activities. They presented their idea to Mrs. Chris Kaiser, the Dean of Students, who immediately approved it. She then recruited staff member and Alumnae Coordinator, Shawn Osmeyer (’88) – an enthusiastic self-starter and dynamo in her own right – to be the club’s moderator. And with that, they were off and running.
Though new this year, more than 50 girls have already signed up for membership. Their goal is to meet once a month with alum from different professions and have expressed particular interest in connecting with those who have careers in medicine, law, engineering, and architecture, among others. In addition, they are also interested in connecting with alum who are currently in college and grad school. The NDP students come to the club meetings prepared with thought-provoking questions for the alum, and ready to engage in stimulating conversation and leadership activities. As a follow-up, the girls create an “Alumna of the Month” bulletin board featuring that month’s alum guest, and including a bio, photos, and insightful Q&A’s.
I don’t know what is more impressive. The depth and breadth of NDP’s extraordinarily talented, accomplished, and successful alumnae. Or the initiative, interest, and enthusiasm of the current NDP students. Either way, it seems to be a win-win situation. Our alum get to come back, share their time and talent, and serve as valuable role models for the next generation of leaders. And our students become incredibly enlightened and empowered in the process. And that, my friends, is the perfect blending of past, present, and future.
If you are an alum and would like to participate in the Student Alumnae Leadership Club, please contact Shawn Osmeyer at: firstname.lastname@example.org