by Andrea Houston, Bingham Fellows 2012 –
I’m in the middle of my first Leadership Louisville program experience as a member of the Bingham Fellows Class of 2012. I had no idea what to expect from the experience, however, I did begin with the hope that the class would be prepared to address our topic, which is, “Creating a path to prosperity – Engaging the community to inspire student achievement.”
From the very first class, I knew that the topic was highly important. So many children need us, “the community”, to work towards quality education for all. At the start, we set ground rules and it came up right away that we would probably have a clash of ideas. With so many talented and dedicated people in the class, it was also pretty clear that one unified project was most likely not going to happen.
After months of learning subject matter and numerous group discussions, we recently split into small groups to work on the specific projects. This led to more group conversations going on and on, about the best way to approach the project. During this time, I found myself wondering, “Where is all of this truly going?”
Last month, a sense of urgency emerged when our groups had to give an account of our project work. At this point team work became essential! In an instant, folks started taking ownership. Individuals took on tasks and revised project plans which created more action items. The small project groups began collaborating. Bingham Fellows really became exciting when group members brought their unique expertise and skills and demonstrated their commitment.
All of a sudden I began to visualize our project nicely evolving. Finally, it’s all coming together! We can create a great project to help further our city and its responsibility to our children’s education.
I’m also finding real enjoyment from the Bingham Fellows program. It’s all worth it, including giving up your time from work, play and from loved ones. Working together with leaders from all entities; learning, listening, engaging in critical discussions and then acting, in concert, has a great purpose and place in the name of community.