Leaders are made, not born

Leadership class participating in activities

Leadership class participating in activities

Ambyr Wagner, Writer

Many people have a wish to be more confident in themselves and become a leader. Either in their friend group, home, community or elsewhere.

BFA’s Leadership class, with their teacher Mary Brouillette, provides students the opportunity to reach these goals.

The leadership class builds up a student’s skills, inside and outside the class, using various activities.

This includes ninety-second presentations, icebreakers or games to get to know each other, using the course booklet to help in aiding the students, field trips to conventions and to other schools and mentoring elementary students within Franklin County.

The students also read a book based on experiences of other people, and follow a step by step guideline that focuses on each area of leadership.

“The main goal is that they leave believing in themselves and have a better self-concept,” Brouillette said.

Brouillette works hard on trying to build up her student’s confidence and helps each student “find themselves.”

The students find themselves really enjoying the class and what it has to offer them.

“Last year a lot of people recommended it and said that it was really fun… (I gave) it a try and it turns out that I do really enjoy it and I’m glad I participated in it,” Evie Campbell (‘17) said.

One problem with many people is that they are extremely self-conscious of themselves. 

Fortunately, enough, Brouillette’s leadership class is a no-judgement zone.

“Something that we stress a lot in the class is to just be yourself because it’s the best thing that you can possibly be, so I feel a lot more comfortable just being myself and not putting on a facade so I can fit into other people’s visions for me, so I don’t have to necessarily conform to things (that are not) me; I just feel a lot more confident in myself,” Lonna Neidig (‘18) said.

Being yourself is important in Brouillette’s Leadership class.

“I feel like I’ve become a better leader and I also feel like I don’t have to pretend to be somebody else that everyone else expects me to be and I can be more of myself and enjoy myself because of it,” Chas Jewett (‘18) said.

The book the class reads, How to Enjoy Your Life and Your Work by Dale Carnegie, expresses the importance of being yourself through an account of a woman.

“I realized I had brought all this misery on myself by trying to fit myself into a pattern to which I did not conform…. In rearing my own children, I have always taught them the lesson I had to learn from such a bitter experience: no matter what happens, always be yourself,” Edith Allred, a woman from North Carolina, said.

Allred was one of the people who talked about her experiences within the book.

Once a week each member of Brouillette’s class mentors a younger student in middle school for one class period.

“Every week, the high school student plans whatever they’re going to do with the elementary student. They could be either working in class on whatever subject matter they need to do. It could be either exercise room, or they’re in the gym playing soccer, or they’re reading, or drawing; it just depends on what is happening in the classroom when they get there and if they can take their student for an extended period of time,” Brouillette said.

Brouillette’s students certainly take advantage of being a role model.

“I am in a similar position because I am the youngest of three by a wide margin, so for me it’s sort of a chance to be that role model and be that older sibling sort of figure. Some students don’t necessarily have that and it’s really important for me to be able to offer that sort of comfort and security and just a level of stability for students,” Neidig said.

Activities such as this continue throughout the one semester class, and with every passing day, each student becomes more of a leader.

“When students leave this class, here’s what they say: they want it to be a graduation requirement; they want part two; they see the benefits that now they are happier, less stressed, their grades have gone up or they are paying more attention to what they are doing. They have more control; they have better time management skills; they have better relationships; they can solve problems better. Some of them had made decisions about their future; which way they want to go next and they feel good about it,” Brouillette said.

If you wish to be more confident and be a leader, now is the time to make an appointment and meet up with your guidance counselor. Spots will be open for a limited time, as the class is very popular. Get in before the class becomes too full!