Students share thoughts following leadership event

The Leadership Advisors Developing Students (LADS) at Kirkwood Community College launched the first Eagle Leadership Kickoff Series event of the year on Sept. 28.  

Students who attended the event shared comments. “The event was a success,” LADS member Becca Vanderheiden said. Ibrahim Osman, engineering, added, “It was worth the time.” Mariam Nawar, biomedical engineering transfer, agreed. “It was very enjoyable,” she said.  

“We had free tacos, free shirts, why wouldn’t anyone want to show up? We did a lot of fun activities including telephone. We were in the same team for like seven different activities, and we learned a lot about each other. We built some confidence together, a lot of communication skills we built on I would say was a good teamwork activity. Everyone had fun,” said Jared Hargrafen, business transfer major. 

Wesley Latchman, sonography transfer, said he also enjoyed the teamwork activities. “The human knot, I felt that was a great way of using both verbal and non-verbal cues to work with each other. I thought it was really fun. I thought that being able to connect to people was really great, like finding more friends and more community. Honestly it’s really great so far. I felt like I actually learned something.”  

Latchman added, “From the presentations…a lot of leadership advisors were giving different presentations…The biggest take away for me is whenever an opportunity comes, take it.”  

The kickoff event featured free food, free shirts, team activities, bonding with friends, connecting with the community and learning something new. But, that was just the start. 

“We have another one coming up. Sydney Rykoff, founder of Almost Famous Popcorn in Cedar Rapids, will be there,” said Hargrafen. “You should attend the other events, they have free food. Why not show up for Almost Famous Popcorn, some of the best popcorn in the state of Iowa, it’s really good. You’ll learn a lot, these people are real business people, they’re obviously successful.”  

Latchman said he thought the leadership series seems like it is a good fit for anyone. “No matter who you are, what you do, you can take away something from it,” he said.  

Nawar said she encourages students to attend future events. “To the community and all of Kirkwood … honestly show up for these events. They’re amazing, super engaging, I learned a lot from them. I relate a lot to the stories and the experiences told. If you show up you’ll get a chance to share those experiences as well. It’s an opportunity so take it,” she said.  

Student Center Coordinator Erik Ryan speaks at the first Eagle Leadership Kickoff event.
Student Center Coordinator Erik Ryan speaks at the first Eagle Leadership Kickoff event. Students participated in activities and shared experiences. PHOTO BY YAHYA HALIM.
Image courtesy of Yahya Halim | Kirkwood Communiqué

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