At the culmination of each semester’s Emerge Leadership Circle, students share their personal leadership philosophies. These philosophies are the culmination of a semester’s learning and reflection, and each is as unique as the participants themselves.
Class of 2027
“As a leader, I commit to making the principles of an authentic leadership a reality. My mission is to lead with integrity, consistently showing honesty, kindness and accountability in all my actions and decisions. I aspire to create a positive and inclusive culture where everybody is empowered to do their best and contribute to the group in their own way. I believe in the power of inspiration and wanting to motivate those around me to reach their full potential. Through helping, encouraging, and making an environment that values different perspectives, I want to make a team that not only achieves amazing results but also experiences personal and professional growth.
I see the importance of continuous learning and innovation. As a leader, I will encourage and support a culture of curiosity and creativity, where each team member feels encouraged to contribute ideas and challenge the status quo.
Communication is at the heart of my leadership approach. Remembering back to the ball and pipe game, I felt that my voice could have overtaken those who wanted to contribute and maybe had better ideas than me. That Emerge session made me think about how well I listened to others and how I could better my skills of communication. I will strive to communicate openly, actively listen to the concerns and ideas of my team, and provide constructive feedback. By building strong relationships and making a sense of trust, I want to create a collaborative and cohesive team that works together towards common goals.
Adding on, I am dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. I will actively work to create a workplace that values and respects the uniqueness of each person. Through inclusive practices, I aim to leverage the strength that comes from a diverse team, recognizing that our differences make us stronger.
Lastly, my overarching goal is to contribute not only to the success of the people I’m leading but also to the personal and emotional development of every person. I believe that by prioritizing people, embracing change, and upholding the highest standards of leadership, I can make a positive and lasting impact on both the people I lead and myself for the near future.”
Class of 2027
“My mission as a leader is to help people find a way to be successful on their own. My strengths allow me to see into a person and figure out what their strengths are. Just by listening to a person, I believe you can learn a lot about how you can lead a person. What I think makes a great leader is communication, their values and ethics, and their ability to problem solve. Communication comes with listening and knowing how to talk to people. Problem solving is about making a decision and being confident in the choices you make. Your values and ethics are the most important thing about being a leader. They affect every aspect of your leadership qualities. Your values determine what you care about the most, which determines your ethics. This leads to your ethics affecting how you communicate with people, how you listen, and how you problem solve.
So I pledge to listen to people and trust that my values and ethics will guide me to the right decision, and to be unselfish when it comes to making decisions. I believe that if I give the time to listen to a person’s problems and help them figure it out, even if it affects myself, that they will want to do the same for someone else. The world is a mean and cruel place. It will most likely stay that way. As a leader, you just have to try to make a difference, and hope that it sticks and grows into a larger change for the better.”
Class of 2025
“In my philosophy, I advocate that not every situation demands a leader, but there are instances where leadership skills prove crucial. Each individual possesses a unique leadership style, characterized by distinct approaches or systems, yet we all share a common objective: to guide and support those who follow us.
Personally, I gravitate towards a direct and somewhat strict leadership style, emphasizing clear rules as a foundational step. While rules may seem tedious, they serve the vital purpose of aiding and safeguarding the team. Once the framework is established, I encourage my team to pursue their individual preferences, be it engaging in conversation, listening to music, or any activity that fosters comfort, as long as the overarching goal is achieved.
Trust forms the cornerstone of my leadership values, and I firmly believe that trust is a two-way street. Granting each team member a designated role or aligning them towards a collective objective is my initial step, accompanied by a genuine belief in their capabilities. If assistance is required, I am committed to providing support until they are self-sufficient or until they no longer require my guidance.
My overarching mission is to redefine leadership by acknowledging diverse leadership styles,asserting that anyone can assume a leadership role in various situations. This belief stems from the recognition that effective leadership is not confined to a singular mold but encompasses a spectrum of styles adaptable to the dynamic nature of different circumstances.”
Class of 2024
“Make a difference. Make a difference for yourself, make a difference for others, make a difference for the world. Work hard to discover who you truly are and you will find that you see things in a new light, a light that shows the beauty in this world. We can all be leaders, we must come together, work hard together, love each other, and accept each other to make a better place for our future and for the next generation.
Considering everyone’s views and opinions is essential to creating better relationships with my peers. Choosing to resolve conflict as opposed to ignoring it is critical for building a stronger company. Making hard decisions and spending my time wisely is necessary for the mental health of myself and others.
As a leader, I am leading us to a better tomorrow. I must take things day by day, make sure my fellow leaders are doing okay, check in on myself and others so that we can proceed to move forward. Because if we remain stuck in today, we may never reach tomorrow, reach the finish line, or reach our goals.”
Ana Hernandez Gomez
Class of 2027
“Ever hear of the philosopher Socrates? He once said, “True knowledge is knowing you know nothing”. Sounds like he must have been the original problem solver in his day.
Most leaders do not have all the answers to every question or problem. Leaders are not Google, they’re not a playbook to life endless questions. Leaders do not have all the answers, but they need to seek solutions even when the solutions do not present themselves.I think everyone can take something away from Socrates. We simply do not have to have all the answers just because we’re “leaders”. But it is our obligation as leaders to be relentless in our search for solutions.
So the next time you’re leading a team of problem solvers, remember what Socrates famously said, “Hey it’s cool not to know everything!”. Instead, encourage your team to embrace the uncertainty. Dive into the unknown, armed with curiosity in the face of ambiguity. Remember it’s not about having all the answers, it’s about having the courage to take on the challenge head-on.”
Ana Hernandez Gomez
Class of 2027
“Although I don’t have experience of being a president of any club or a big major role in leadership in anything but being in the program about how to become a leader I learned so much thought this course I know that being a leader doesn’t mean being the best in your group or the first in speaking /loudest what makes leaders are people who have empathy and are respectful to everyone and also give others a chance to put in their own ideas in anything that’s going on in the group. Although I rarely speak for myself and shy away from things like this for example, I know that one day I’ll have the strength to overcome this fear of mine. The result of my leadership efforts today is giving everyone I work with now and later in my years to give everyone a voice in anything and supporting their ideas. Build trust with everyone. Who I’m serving as a leader are my family, friends and people in my work profession in the future and everyone else.”
Class of 2025
“Each leader possesses distinct traits that they cherish and safeguard, differentiating not only leaders but individuals across various domains, including political figures, managers, professors, and even family members. The reason for bringing this up lies not only in my increased involvement within a group where each person exhibits a unique leadership style and personality but also in the observation of how these differences lead to both clashes and collaborations.
Reflecting on my own leadership journey, marked by tough decisions, selfish and selfless choices, and an ongoing process of defining my philosophy, I’ve drawn several conclusions. One key aspect of my philosophy involves embracing selflessness, appreciating oneself and others,and recognizing the significance of our past positions.
Selflessness is crucial in leadership, presenting a leader as humble yet driven by a desire to improve circumstances for both others and themselves. Despite its seeming contradiction, this trait manifests when a person takes the initiative or risks being the first to try something when others hesitate. It becomes crucial to acknowledge that once in the spotlight, one must step back,recognizing that diverse philosophical perspectives exist within the group.
Appreciation forms a fundamental part of my leadership philosophy as leaders must recognize and acknowledge how far they have progressed from their starting point. This entails recalling instances where one had to navigate challenging situations, remembering one’s roots and familial background. The ability to appreciate where one came from serves as a grounding force,fostering gratitude for the progress made. Regardless of a leader’s perceived effectiveness, this value remains singularly important. It prevents leaders from losing sight of their journey and succumbing to a constant state of motion without reflection.
My leadership philosophy revolves around maintaining a balance between selflessness and selfishness, emphasizing appreciation, and valuing one’s origins. As a young Hispanic man navigating life, these traits are pivotal, motivating leaders to strive for continuous improvement even when faced with dwindling motivation.”
Class of 2027
“My leadership philosophy is that leadership is only necessary when people don’t know what they’re doing, if everyone knows what they’re doing they can have a meeting and all plain next steps or just start working if everyone knows what they’re doing. If someone doesn’t know what they’re doing then they essentially need a babysitter. This is fundamentally the job of a leader to lead people down the right path after they have found it. The reason this is required is quite obviously because the person who is new doesn’t know what they’re doing yet. After they know what they’re doing they no longer require guidance and thus no longer need a leader AKA babysitter. Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach him to fish, and feed him for life.”
Class of 2027
“Leadership. The act of leading a group of people or an organization. That is the basic dictionary definition of a leader’s role. But what exactly does that role signify? For me, being a leader means to be a key representation of a group of people. The leader I strive to be is a person who is not only confident in themselves but their group as a whole. Who is not only a reliable individual but can also rely on their group in a time of need. Being a leader doesn’t mean you are the person who needs to be good at everything. Being a leader means to be a grounding figure for your group. You are there meant to guide others, not control them. You are the person who people will look to the most when faced with a problem. You won’t always have the solution but you can help set the plan in motion to find that solution. You contribute just as much effort as everyone else. Leadership is not always something someone is born to do, it is a skill that can also be learned through experience and time. I’m not always going to be the best leader, there will be mistakes made and lessons to be learned but the best leader is the one who’s always learning and striving to better themselves. That is the type of leader I wish to become.”
Class of 2027
“Becoming claimed as a leader can become an extremely exciting achievement, but can also be very nerve-racking. Usually when you are deemed a leader, others in a group vote on this achievement, whether it is for a sports team, your job, or even something as small as a class presentation. It is truly an honor to become a leader, although it does come with responsibilities and duties to stay on task. In high school, I was selected by my coach and teammates to be a captain for my basketball team, which I was incredibly happy about in the selection process. Being a leader as an athlete can be difficult and challenging, but it can also show your character and how you are as a person. One big skill I used for being an athletic leader is communication, which is key in any point during your life. Communication does not only mean talking to someone else,but it also means being able to receive information from someone else. This is important on the basketball court, as you must be able to communicate with your teammates and your coach. Another big skill development I learned is time management. Being a collegiate athlete means that I need to make sure I give myself enough time to focus on other activities, such as classes, schoolwork, jobs, and social life. Having the privilege of being a leader means I can help teach others the importance of managing your day and communicating, especially with confidently talking and listening.”
Class of 2027
“When people think about leaders or heroes they think of someone that grows up with all the support and love. But the only thing that people should think is that they could be in that same position with hard work and self love. Always look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you got it.#ShineBrighterThanAnyStar Knowledge Is power and power is freedom- Francis Bacon
What Impacts I have made as a leader. High school appreciated the hard work the ESL students do. I had people join the international show to represent their country/see the different cultures around us. I have helped ESL students with English work. I gave tours around my school to the new students and also the aluminaid of the school. I was part of the superintendent meeting where we talked about the ways we can help our students and have them stay in school. I have been part of the Herren Project to raise awareness of self love and care. I also help the 365 Kindness Club where they have done events so we can show our gratitude to the students and the daycare students we have. Also did the Jumpstart program for freshmen. Protested for a raise for the teachers. Being different is beautiful.
The people I want to Impact. I would like to Impact the latinos because some of us have been through so much in our country’s that we want to come to America to become better.
I also would like to impact the immigrants so they can see that they can become someone and they don’t have to work horrible jobs that don’t pay them well.
Also want to make sure they know that schools aren’t their enemy and they could build a family there, they don’t need to find it in the streets.”
Class of 2025
“First, what is leadership? This has been the entire point of this workshop, but truly there isn’t just one answer. To be honest I do not even think that this question can be answered. Leadership is so many things and it cannot be reduced to one definition. I personally think of leadership as being a role model. This is why I have continued to be a leader; I want to be a role model for others. In the beginning of my journey, I was forced into my first leadership role. I wasn’t supposed to be the president of CJ Club, but the previous one dropped out and there was no one else to fill the role. I am a more reserved person and in the beginning I didn’t want to be looked to by others. I was terrified of making mistakes. Now, I am the same reserved, introverted person, but I have learnt to love my roles as a leader on campus. I know that as a leader, mistakes will be made. In all of my positions, I realize that I am not perfect, not even close some days. I don’t know everything and I accept that. A person can never know everything, but there are people who are there to support you and help you continue on. These facts are an important part of being a leader. There are days where I want to stop, give up all the stress that results from my leadership positions, but then I remind myself of my love and passion for what I am doing and I am roped back in again. I love being able to be a friend for my mentees in my peer mentoring class, being a student who makes that first impression for our university as a tour guide, and being a part of a group as the president of my club. Being able to help others in their game of life, no matter what role I play, is the part I love about being a leader at Worcester State. This is my leadership philosophy.”
Brandol Ogando Saladin
Class of 2025
“My leadership philosophy revolves around the concept of being a servant leader—one who selflessly dedicated themselves to caring for others. In many instances, individuals assume leadership positions driven by personal motives. However, I firmly believe that taking on a leadership role should be rooted in a genuine desire to benefit others and contribute towards achieving a shared goal that positively impacts those around you.
While it is undeniable that assuming a leadership position provides opportunities for personal growth and experience, these should be regarded as byproducts rather than the primary focus. The ultimate goal should be to cultivate personal development in order to better serve others in the future, regardless of the scale of the leadership role. Whether the role is modest or substantial, the essence lies in the commitment to making a positive difference and striving toward collective objectives.
As a leader, I like to have fun in what I do and add excitement to it. The reason why people see me and say “you do a lot around campus”. It’s because I enjoy doing all these things. Yes, It does get overwhelming sometimes, but like I mentioned earlier, all I do as a leader, I do it for the people.At the end of the day things do get rough, however it is the enjoyment and the faces of the people that I serve that keep me moving forward.”
Class of 2024
“One assumption that has always seemed to fuel my thinking regarding leadership is the idea that the leader is the loudest person in the room or the first to speak up in a group of people. Since I am very rarely ever that person, for most of my life, I’ve just assumed that I am not or could never be a “true leader”. Although that belief has changed over time, it has been primarily within the past six months that my mindset has changed the most. I made the decision to apply for a position as an Orientation Leader because I wanted to push myself to step out of my comfort zone. I can usually hold my own in small groups but talking in front of a lot of people makes me anxious. In a big group, I almost always listen first and participate after. No matter how many times I’m successful in voicing my opinions, it doesn’t really seem to be any easier for me to work up the nerve the next time. This used to make me think I was less of a leader or not even meant to be one, but through my experiences as an OL and over the course of this semester in Emerge, I’ve learned that there are many different ways to be a leader. Depending on the circumstances, one singular person can even display multiple different leadership styles. For example, I surprised myself over the summer and sometimes did more of the talking to our orientation groups than my partner did (who was commonly viewed as the loud and outspoken one).
I initially struggled with this assignment because I was still thinking that there is only one way to define a leader but that’s simply not true. Yes, a leader could be the one who talks the most, but a leader could also be the one who is the most quiet initially, focusing their energy on being a good listener, and then contributing later. Ultimately, I don’t think that how a person is a leader is as important as why a person is a leader. The reasons behind why someone wants to be a leader, and their overall goal for the people they are leading are paramount. Personally, I strive to lead with kindness and respect at the forefront of all of my actions. I hope to encourage strong relationships between me and other team members, and to do so I think communication is key. While my go-to methods for communicating may be different than some others, it always seems to end up working out in the end. Sure, it’s important to try new things but it’s also important to embrace the characteristics that make you, you.”
Class of 2025
“My personal philosophy is to motivate others. I want to take this opportunity to teach people about my struggles and experiences to share my life lessons. I have lived and survived many things; I just want to be able to give back to my community. I want to teach people what compassion, empathy, and understanding can do for us as individuals. I’d like to use this opportunity to deliver a very powerful message, that anything is possible despite all of life’s adversities. My mother used to tell me growing up that everything has a solution except death.“
As a woman, as the eldest daughter in my household, as a first generation latina trying to make change. There’s a loud story being told there. I’ve had experience working with the Latino Education Institute, the City of Worcester’s Division of Youth Opportunities, a Resident Assistant for ResLife and an Orientation Leader for OSILD, a board member for a grass roots non-profit organization, an older sister — and so much more. But I choose not to get into that because my experiences as an older sister are so much more fulfilling than any sort of “white collar” work.
Ultimately what I believe in, is that to be the best version of yourself , you must learn to love yourself and accept and acknowledge both the good and bad around you, and to use that energy to positively influence the society around you, so that we, as a collective/world can grow away from hate and learn to love. I am here today, not to share my life story but rather to share with you what my goals are in the future. I am here today because I am able to identify myself as a chicana.
I do this because I hope to be someone impactful in my family. I would want for the future generations for my blood to keep my legacy of hard work alive. I want my family now and in the future to think of me as someone who has overcome obstacles not for the purpose of attention or recognition, but rather for myself from my own free will and spirit. I do this for everyone, to serve as proof to all young people, who often go overlooked, that universal kindness and understanding is the key component to building a better future.”