Reflections on the SLD Program

My Time in the SLD Program

           Entering high school can feel like a substantial change in students’ lives. This is the time where they must make more and more decisions about their future. Whether it is what they want to do after they graduate, or working hard to achieve good grades, this time can feel stressful. Fortunately, students can receive help through the Student Leadership Development (SLD) program.  As a high school student, getting involved in the SLD program was beneficial, since it allowed me to become the person that I am today.

            The SLD program is a group that interested high school students can join at NCA. Led by Mr. Nelson and other administrators, the program allows students to receive help with academics, provides opportunities for students to serve the community, and invites students to participate in college visits and yearly trips out of town. The main purpose of the program is to help the students involved become better leaders for society, while also helping them plan for their future. The program succeeds in its goal because it instills core values of leadership into the students, while also aiding students with their education.

           To start, through the SLD program, I was able to attend sessions with Ms. Daviglus to help develop my resume and study for the SAT. Attending these sessions taught me the importance of getting prepared early. Now that I have already completed my resume, I can add to it instead of starting from the beginning. In addition, studying for the SAT long before I take the exam allows me to know what to expect. This way, I will not have to review so much information in such a short time before taking it. Getting prepared is a key step for leaders to take, so that they have time to carry out their works. Next, the sessions helped with my education. I was allotted time to work on my virtual school assignments during parts of the sessions, which let me finish the class ahead of schedule. Overall, these sessions taught me to be a better leader because I learned how to make more efficient use of my time.

            Being involved in the SLD program has also allowed me to visit several colleges and universities. The colleges that we visited through the program were all diverse. For example, one university that we visited, Nova Southeastern University, is mainly focused on the health and medical fields. However, Florida Polytechnic University, another university that we visited, primarily focuses on science and technology. Going to a wide variety of different colleges can be advantageous because it can cover the interests of everyone in the program. For me, pursuing careers in health and science is not something I am interested in, though it was still useful to see the numerous colleges. Through the SLD program, I can observe how colleges operate differently from one another, enabling me to evaluate which is the best fit for me.

             In addition, the SLD program molded me into a better leader by allowing me to give back to the community. In the program, we served the community by volunteering to feed people in need. This enabled me to be a better leader because it showed me how leaders give back what they have to people. I have also given back by writing for others. During the basketball season of the 2017-2018 school year, I wrote about the individual games for the school website. Furthermore, with fellow student Jordon Cummings, I was able to assist elementary students in a writing club, to strengthen their writing. This made me into a better leader because I could put my works towards helping others.

          Additionally, at the end of each school year, the students in the SLD program go on a trip out of town. For the first year of the program, we went to Orlando. It was in this city that we toured colleges such as Full Sail University and University of Central Florida. The next year the group traveled to Washington D.C., where we visited monuments such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Finally, this most recent school year, we went to New York. During the trip, we also viewed national monuments, such as the Statue of Liberty. These yearly trips are valuable because they allow me to see the world outside my community. Whether it is through the colleges or through seeing monuments, it is important I get familiar with the world outside of what I already know.

        Lastly, being in the SLD program has led me to become a better collaborator. The program was the first group that I had been involved in, so it helped me to learn how to work as a team with the other students. For instance, during the trip to Orlando, we went to Disney’s Epcot and split into different teams. In the different teams, we went to the separate sections of Epcot and wrote reports on them. Even though it would have been possible for me to do this on my own, doing it as a team made I easier and more efficient.

         In conclusion, the SLD program has impacted me in many ways. First, it has improved my leadership by teaching me skills such as getting prepared. Before I entered the program, I most likely would not have constructed my resume or study for the SAT as early as I had. However, thanks to the program, I know that it is better being prepared early. Something else about leadership that I learned from the program was the importance of servanthood. While in the program, I gave my services by writing for others, which taught me how leaders give their time back to other people. Finally, I learned how to work as a team with other people. Within the activities in the program, I saw how leaders work together to reach a common goal. For these reasons, I recommend high school students to join the SLD program for the experience.



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