Many NSLS chapters show a strong commitment to community service. It’s one of the tenets of the NSLS mission to make a better world, and many NSLS members are attuned to the strengths of servant leadership.
One chapter in particular recently went above and beyond by turning its induction ceremony into a service project.
The North Carolina Wesleyan University (NCWU) NSLS chapter welcomed 40 new members in fall of 2022. Chapter Advisor Tanisha Reed says the group wanted to add an element of community service to the big event, so the students were given one last pre-induction task.
“Before the ceremony, we asked the students to bring gently used blankets and socks to donate to United Community Ministries. At the ceremony, they collected 21 blankets and two packs of socks to help those in need and keep them warm during the cold months ahead.”
Creating a Sense of Teamwork
When a chapter’s members work to achieve any type of goal, they quickly discover that success requires a significant degree of cohesion and teamwork.
No matter how motivated and competent specific individuals may be, the group must come together in a friendly and supportive way to reach the goal.
“Several crucial leadership skills were necessary to help our chapter achieve this result, including strong communication, collaboration, organization, relationship building, critical thinking, decision-making, team motivation, active listening, creativity, strategic thinking, and the ability to inspire others.”
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How Leadership Transforms Leaders and Teams
Being the Chapter Advisor for a group so dedicated to service and leadership has been transformative for Tanisha, who says the experience has been nothing short of inspirational.
“I watched students grow on a personal level and witnessed them honing their leadership skills. They inspired me with their tenacity and confidence. I know that determination will be a driving factor to help them reach their goals.”
For other chapter leaders who want to help their teams make a positive impact from the very beginning of their NSLS membership, she recommends having faith in each member and the group as a whole.
“It’s important to believe in the students, allow them the space to grow, and even make mistakes. Nobody’s perfect and they will stumble. Encourage them to have the will to keep going. That’s my definition of leadership—working together with others to motivate them toward achieving a common goal.”
Serving the Community Requires Serving the Team
A group that establishes a commitment to a common goal won’t simply complete a single project and call it a day. When the need is significant, as it is in many communities like Rocky Mount and elsewhere, an ongoing attitude of service helps set the tone for present and future members.
In addition, the group’s needs must also be met. Fundraising is a fundamental part of any chapter’s program, as resources continue to be necessary to pursue service-related projects. That’s why the NCWU chapter quickly set its sights on its next goal, as Tanisha explained.
“We’re planning a Valentine's Day Raffle as a fundraising event. The students will sell raffle tickets for two baskets, including a $2 small basket and a $10 larger basket. They plan on making flyers to post around campus, and sending an email to faculty and staff. They’ll also participate in group activities on campus to market the fundraising event.”
For another inspiring story, learn how the NSLS chapter at William Paterson University transformed from nearly inactive to the 2022 NSLS Chapter of the Year.