My experience in Grand Challenges taught me more about myself and the way I work with others, and I use that daily in my interaction with my coworkers and students.
Alice Francis became a part of the GT LEAD community as a freshman in Grand Challenges in the Fall of 2014. She is going into her second year at Georgia Tech, majoring in mechanical engineering. This summer, Alice is a facilitator for Georgia Tech CEISMC Summer PEAKS camps, which give students in 4th to 12th grade the chance to enhance learning during the summer through experiential activities on Georgia Tech’s campus. PEAKS covers many different Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) concepts. We asked her if she would share a little bit of her summer experiences with us, and this is what she had to say:
1. Where are you this summer and what are you doing (ex: studying abroad, internship, teaching, summer classes, FASET leader, etc)? Please describe your context and why you chose this path for the summer.
I'm working in STEM outreach as a facilitator for the Georgia Tech CEISMC Summer PEAKS camps. I have always had a passion for working with kids, and combining that passion with an enthusiasm for sharing STEM knowledge felt like a rewarding opportunity for the summer.
2. What are some ways that leadership plays a role in what you are doing this summer?
Working with kids takes a special kind of leadership. Children need motivation to listen, and that motivation comes from earning their respect through consistency and fairness.
3. In what way are you/were you involved with Georgia Tech Leadership Education and Development (LEAD)? And how has your LEAD involvement helped you with your summer leadership experience? In other words, were there valuable insights gained or lessons learned from your LEAD involvement that has been useful to you this summer?
I was in the Grand Challenges program, and actually got my summer internship through one of the faculty advisors at a banquet. My experience in Grand Challenges taught me more about myself and the way I work with others, and I use that daily in my interaction with my coworkers and students. Knowing that I am a dominant leader has helped me stay sensitive to the times when I can be overbearing.
4. What has been the most rewarding part of your summer? What has been the most challenging?
The most rewarding part of my summer has been building relationships with my students. Although I only have them for a week at a time, I learn so much about their lives and what they are involved in. Seeing how motivated and driven they are helps me stay excited to learn in college.
5. What do you know now that you didn’t know before you ventured into your summer leadership experience?
I know a lot more about waking up early! I also have learned a lot about how to take a stand as an authority figure, especially when I am challenged by parents. I have had to stand up for myself on occasion this summer and this internship has made me more comfortable with "just saying no" when it is necessary.