Student Spotlight: Chiara, Leadership Institute, Online Experience 2020

Throughout the 2020 Summer Immersion Program – Online Experience we will be featuring different students to talk about their diverse experiences in our Institutes. Learn more about our online Institutes from the perspective of one of our out of international students. 


What were your biggest takeaways?

The most important things I learned from the program are: you should learn from your mistakes, but know that those little slips in life do not define you, and there were so many skills on how to become not only a better leader but a better person as well. My favorite one would have to be to have an open mind. Be open to learning and other people’s situations.

What is something new that you learned about yourself?

During this program, I learned that I like to take initiative. I would want to answer all the questions to share my point of view, and always be the first to start a conversation with my peers. I guess you could say I really embraced my inner leader.


 How has this experience changed your mindset? 

My mindset has changed in the way I see things. You have to look at the big picture and the minor details. Every bit of it is important.

What is an experience you had that really stands out to you?

What stands out the most, is being able to hear from such great leaders: Marcus Sanderlin and Admiral Forrest Faison. Mr. Sanderlin had such great advice for our futures and taught us we all have the potential to become a leader. The admiral told us stories of situations that one would have thought impossible. It was fascinating to know that just by being a leader, you can save lives.


Describe someone you met who impacted you.

I would like to mention three people. Two of which are fellow peers. Madison Manning and Vama Shah, I got paired up with them for the project, and I’m really glad I did. They’re such great people, so eager to listen and tell stories. We’re still talking even after we finished the project, and I hope it stays this way. Finally, one of the guest speakers, Admiral Forrest Faison, had such fascinating stories about saving people’s lives by leading them. I hope to hear from him again in the future.

How has this experience impacted your future?

This experience will definitely impact my future. The skills and traits I have learned will help me get through (hopefully) all of the strife I face in life.


What was your favorite moment from this week?

My favorite moment of this week would have to be when we were separated into groups to make a video. It really helped me meet new people and work together as a team. I made some great friends and wish we could’ve been together in person.

How has this experience clarified your goals?

 I never really had goals for life. It was mostly just graduate high school and go to college. Of course, I was aiming for Ivy League, but that’s all I really had. This course has made me realize that goals don’t have to be physical. There are things you can change within yourself to become a better person. I now have new goals to work on.


What was the most interesting thing you did/saw/learned?

Something that I found really interesting is that few people believe they are leaders now. I mean, I get it, being a teenager is all about having insecurities. It would take a while for some of us to start talking, and not many wanted to be first. I hope this experience helped them become a little more confident in themselves, too. 

Why would you recommend the Summer Immersion Program? 

I recommend the Summer Immersion Program Leadership Institute to everyone. It’s a great place to learn more about yourself, how to interact with others, build your confidence, hear some once in a lifetime speeches from amazing people, and make great friends. I’m sure if I were on campus, the experience would have been 300 times better! The week went by so fast, and I don’t want it to end.