Following the Leader

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This summer, I am volunteering at Girls Inc, a national nonprofit organization inspiring girls to be “strong, smart and bold,” with innovative programs to guide them. Girls choose jobs and clubs within Girls Inc. that appeal to them, and they have scheduled activities like reading and learning about local wildlife. Girls Inc. provides these programs for kindergarten through eighth grade, and this summer I am helping with the kindergartners. My duties include reading with them, making sure they go where they are supposed to, and helping to serve lunch.

Spending time with the girls is very rewarding!  They are fun and they’re eager to learn. I’m learning, too. A recent experience made me think about being a role model and a leader: The girls were a little rowdy, and would not go anywhere in a cohesive group. To quiet everyone down, I called to them, “I am your mama duck! And you are my ducklings! So, when I say, ‘Hello, ducklings!’ you will say, ‘Hello mama duck!'” The girls thought it was the most fun they could be having at that moment, so when I told them to line up like little ducks, they happily got to it. One of the girls started waddling to display her duckling prowess, and immediately all the others began to walk as well, loving that idea. Leadership experience–check!

But this also made me think about the way we are so quick to follow the leader when we are young. Does it make us more prone to follow others when we’re older? How hard is it to break out of the mold, and become a leader instead of a follower?  We can’t just do what others do; we have to grow out of that, we have to follow our own hearts, establish our own trends, and be our own selves.

I cannot wait for more moments like this at my time at Girls Inc.!

What are some ways that you can be a role model? Are you following others, or are you a leader?

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