Mission: Change helps students build upon, test leadership skills

As part of the 2010 Mission: Change program, Trinity students participated in a Bone Marrow Drive, as well as many other programs for the advancement of people. After a hiatus, Mission: Change is back on campus this year.

“Mission: Change is a series of leadership workshops sponsored by Campus and Community Involvement. Some of the topics include learning to foster sustainable change, planning community projects and managing group conflict. Participants are able to test out these new skills by executing a community project as part of a team,” said Kate Polivka, assistant director of CCI.

Mission: Change is aimed at upperclassmen who want to learn how to take their leadership skills to the next level.

“It’s an excellent way for students to put their leadership skills into practice and add a tangible leadership experience to their résumé. The program is primarily aimed at juniors and seniors who may have already explored their strengths and personal leadership styles and are looking to take the next step,” Polivka said.

Trinity is bringing the program back to the campus for the first time since the inaugural year in 2010 when Jamie Thompson, director of CCI, led the program. She noted the wide range of projects that Mission: Change took on that year.

“In short, they have included an educational program for youth regarding water (Edwards Aquifer), weekend programming for immigrant youth, progress on a grant to seek funding for a “˜doctors across borders’ program in Ecuador, a bone marrow drive and health and wellness research among young Latina women in coordination with the University of Texas Health Science Center,” Thompson said.

The program was designed to carry on from leadership programs available for first years and sophomores where juniors and seniors could use their leadership skills and put them into practice in real-life scenarios.

“Mission: Change quickly evolved as the capstone co-curricular leadership program in Student Affairs as the other leadership components fell into place. The leadership programs currently model the residential model on campus (first years, SoCol, upperclass): Leadership Academy is for first-year students, Sophomore Leadership Initiative for sophomores and Mission: Change for juniors and seniors,” Thompson said.

Mission: Change draws upon other leadership programs in its activities.

“When developing the program and curriculum, I wanted students to be able to put into practice skills they had learned through other leadership programs and experiences on campus. Workshop content is designed to help participants create successful community projects and create change in our communities,” Thompson said.

One of the participants in 2010 was alumna Shannon Baldwin. She took place in the inaugural year of the program here at Trinity.

“It was a very powerful experience. The sense of being useful and doing something meaningful with the skills I’ve acquired was incredible,” Baldwin said.

The series will meet 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday evenings in the Coates University Center from Jan. 29 to Feb. 26. On March 19, the teams will be in the Fiesta Room from 5-7 p.m. giving presentations about the results of their community projects.