Pedro Sanchez, the two-time Student Government Association (SGA) President from Indian State River College, has been recognized for his impactful leadership on campus and beyond.
Most recently, Sanchez was honored as the recipient of the Leadership Award at the Annual Indian River State College Student Awards Ceremony and as the recipient of the James W. Mueller Memorial IRSC Bachelor's Degree or Transfer Scholarship.
The key to achieving such recognition? Staying focused and organized.
Focus and Dedication: Vital Tools for Growth
An important part of Sanchez’s plan for success is focus, using time management to ensure he can provide that focus to every task he takes on. “I made sure to [...] keep my studies in the forefront of my mind.”
Even with this dedication to his studies, Sanchez created space to give complete attention to his applications and his duties as SGA president when it was time to tackle each task. It was this focus that led Sanchez to his leadership tactics in SGA.
“I had to always put my needs second and keep in mind, ‘What is the best decision for the student body? What is it that they require of us as the SGA Executive Board? What is it that I can help with as SGA President?’ [I focused on] always being receptive and gathering what it was that the students were looking for.”
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Building Relationships Builds Toward Success
Through his experiences as a leader and the valuable mentorship of the late Mr. Frank Watkins Jr., vice president of Student Affairs at IRSC, Sanchez learned that strong leadership is about building relationships with others. Mr. Watkins taught him that “leadership is about the other people in the room. It is not about you.”
His membership in the NSLS has also helped him strengthen this skill, learning what it truly means to be a leader.
"The NSLS was one of the platforms where I learned what leadership was. I was also able to better connect and build relationships with students at my school."
A vital step toward building these relationships is building confidence in oneself, something else that Sanchez gained with the NSLS.
“It helped me to be more confident in myself prior to me taking on any leadership roles within my institution."
Sanchez’s Advice for Future Leaders
Sanchez urges leaders of tomorrow to hold onto that growth mindset, always looking for ways to keep learning.
"I would tell them to always consider a different perspective and always be receptive to feedback or a different perspective. Reminding those around us that we are human and that if they can provide us supportive feedback to help us grow as leaders, it is an amazing thing to do as a leader and profoundly affects the rest of the team in a positive manner."
With the goal of gaining admission to a doctorate in physical therapy program after completing his bachelor’s degree, Sanchez keeps these lessons about leadership and helping others top of mind.
"Leadership means, I am going to do my best for everyone around me to benefit as a result of my presence. Leadership means always assisting others by supportively telling them where they can grow and providing them opportunities for them to do so."
Servant leadership has been the basis for so many successful leaders, and Sanchez is a great example of how to lead by putting others first.
Using your leadership skills to support one’s community is a guiding principle of the NSLS. To learn about another member dedicated to serving others, check out this inspiring story of how Eddie Fordham graduated with honors 31 years after incarceration.