What is SLEP?
The Service Leadership Endorsement Program was a student organization at Southern Polytechnic State University (now KSU-Marietta) that gave students the opportunity to find themselves in leadership through understanding their capability and the strength they have, not only in numbers, but as an individual. I really enjoyed being a part of this organization during my freshman year of college. It was originally run by Nancy Reichert who was also the coordinator for honor students. She was extremely motivated and was an aspiration to other women on campus. She always told her students to do their best and strive for greatness.
Would you allow a disability to hinder you from being a leader?
In March 2013, I partnered with two other members (also my best friends on campus), Danica Roberts and Yunji Kim, as part of SLEP to create a presentation for a leadership conference on campus. We presented as a panel of students who believed that if you put your mind to it, you could do it. We used Temple Grandin as a platform for discussing the sensitive topics between disabilities and leadership. We felt that Temple Grandin was an unstoppable woman in engineering and did so many great things that people didn’t even know about so we brought her inspirational story to the forefront of this presentation.
Temple Grandin lives with autism, yet is a leader in her own right. At a young age, she discovered her talent in science field, and dedicates her time and effort into it. However, due to her autism, she was not able to have a good relationship with other people. Then, she discovered that animals could replace social interactions with humans—specifically horses and cattle. As a graduate student at Arizona State University, she conducted research about cattle behavior. Even though the time period she lived in was not accepting towards women in the cattle industry, she was not discouraged. She identified her strengths, and acquired a leadership position.
The first presenter, Yunji Kim, presented how passion has enhanced Grandin as a leader. The second presenter, Brittany J. Rosario (me), talked about Grandin’s persistence against the oppression and obstacles she faced in her life. The third presenter, Danica Roberts, concluded the presentation by talking about how Grandin capitalized on her strengths and weaknesses to produce the most accurate results in research and projects for the cattle farm.
*Please note that the attached file is a PowerPoint show and will automatically open up for presentation along with it’s own timer for the slideshows.