by Laura Maginley
Members of Montgomery County Community College’s African-American Student League (ASL) acquired new insights, networking opportunities and leadership skills last month at the National Black Student Leadership Conference (NBSLC) in Raleigh, N.C. ASL is an organization that supports the development of African-American students at the College and in the surrounding community.
The annual conference was presented by the William’s Foundation with the goal of creating and maintaining ways to educate, train and develop leaders of color through a weekend long conference. Attendees of the event, which encompassed a theme of “Embracing the Leadership Challenge,” participated in workshops just one week prior to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and President Barack Obama’s second term inauguration.
“There were many mentors that passed along important information to us during the conference so that we could continue the trend and pass that information along to others. This will better our community by making an army of leaders to make a change like Dr. King and President Obama,” shared Caroline Moman, a freshman education major and member of the ASL.
Events throughout the weekend included an improvisation leadership workshop, banquet and a discussion about the troubles facing today’s students in their academic and personal lives. Cullen Jones, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist in swimming, was the keynote speaker at the NBSLC. Jones shared his own personal story about his involvement in swimming and work with kids, “which was extremely inspirational,” said Lois Ajiboye, a computer science major at the College and member of ASL.
“I had lost sight of my goals and objectives somewhere along the road, but between the speeches I heard I regained my vision,” she shared.
The 15 ASL members that attended the conference brought back significant values relating to the importance of diversity and leadership.
“In one session, we discussed what it meant to be a leader; it was there when I realized I’m doing all the right things to be successful and that a leader lives inside me,” explained Moman.
“The celebration of diversity at MCCC is very important, because we all bring something important to the campus community as current students and future leaders,” stated Ajiboye.
The NBSLC will convene again January 9-12, 2014. Students who are interested in learning more should contact Counselor and ASL Advsior Mr. Tony Davis in the Central Campus Student Success Center or visit the conference’s official website www.WilLead.com.