BY CHARLEI BAYLOR
After nearly a year, students of the Salisbury University’s Multicultural Leadership Summit Committee were able to see the fruit of their labor. The event, on March 5, came to life after last year’s snow blow-out.
“I like building other people up,” sophomore member of Multicultural Leadership Summit Committee Cearrah Sherman said. The summit seemed like a small collection of about 100 high school and college aged students, but the information was helpful.
Both local high school and college students met to grow and sharpen their leadership skills in the Wicomico Room.
Faculty members and student leaders of past and present were chosen to participate in the event as speakers.
“I like that there weren’t big named people,” Sherman said. “The fact that most of the people were alumnus of Salisbury, it made them more relatable to students.”
The opening keynote speaker and SU alumni Monica Moody-Moore ignited the event with an interactive discussion about personal branding.
In her speech, entitled “Building Your Brand,” she encouraged students to identify their “brand” based upon what they are consistent with and how to deal with people’s perception of said brands.
“People will believe that they know you before they actually do,” Moody-Moore said. “If you do not believe their perception, you will be able to redirect.”
“[I was] leaving there with something that I did not expect to leave with. Dr. Moody-Moore was thought-provoking in terms of what is your brand,” freshman Markiera Saunders said.
Students were given a crash course about branding in three sections: leverage, target audience and packaging. They were advised about branding on social media, sticking to values and understand where their specific values fit, and discussed the “if, then” consistency scenario: “If x is true, what cannot be true?”
Two students, Zakee Martin and Dominic Williams, who were chosen by the Multicultural Student Services to attend the annual African American Student Leadership Experience (AASLE) conference in January were invited to compose and lead “Power Talks,” or encouraging directional speeches for the group at large.
Martin, more affectionately known as “Juice,” by the students on campus, led a talk about the importance of removing toxic people from your life.
Williams fired the crowd with a segment about going after your dreams and applying yourself to your goals.
“It takes unconventional thinking to produce unconventional results,” Williams said.
The two age-groups were separated for varying concurrent sessions according to their needs.
High school students attended sessions discussing “Reasons for Attteding College,” “Back to the Basics: Financial Planning & Preparation” and “#SocialMediaSmart…Navigating the World of Social Media.”
During the high school concurrent sessions, the Social Media portion seemed to be a hit.
One of the most popular parts of the summit was the presentation about what we put on social media by Vanice Antrum, Coordinator of Multicultural Programs.
“It might not seem bad to you, but employers or school administrators might take it completely differently,” Sherman said, recounting a part of the session.
Some of the college topics included career readiness, capability vs. capacity, careers in the media, and unity led by some campus faculty and alumna: Sheree Satchell, Erin Claro, and Algerson Vincent.
Many students in the college-aged groups received deeper insight into self during the “Capapbilty vs. Capacity” session, led by Satchell, Coordinator of Student Life. Students were given personality test to learn more about themselves in terms of traits, strengths and weakness.
“I learned stuff from the personality quiz that I didn’t know about myself,” dual-enrollment student Delé Clark-Shaw said. “And when I read deeper into the description, I found them to be pretty accurate.”
Satchell challenged students to ask themselves the reason behind the things we take on and understand themselves of what is necessary to stay within the lines of your goals.
“Her presentation was to know how much you can do on any journey or new avenue whether it be education or friendship,” Saunders said. “It was very beneficial because I learned that it’s okay sometime to say ‘no’ if you cannot do something, even if you may want to.”
After a group lunch at The Commons, college students were invited to attend an alumni panel titled “Keeping it Real,” where alumus Wendy Finley, Travon Miles, Darrel Dreher, Algerson Vincent, Keren Richardson and Jessica St. Sulme were all invited to give insight to SU students.
Likewise, high school students attended a “What is it like to be a college student?” panel hosted by student leaders: Lana Thompson, Alexis Lee, Amir Carter, Karen Rodriguez, Julieze Benjamin and Elijah Harris.
Each student attendee was able to win a raffle throughout the day. Every session, they were given new raffle tickets to win a prize donated by local restaurants, the bookstore and SOAP.
As Vice President of Nanticoke Residence Hall, Saunders will take back some of the things she has learned and apply them to her leadership position. She also intends to be on the Summit Committee next year.
Clark-Shaw plans to take some of the things that she learned from the summit back to her leadership positions as a mentor at Reading Intervention at Wye Middle and through the ASAP program.
Sherman will use the information to strengthen her positions as Vice President of Gospel Choir, Parliamentarian for Black Student Union and hopes to be able to use them as she runs for positions of secretary of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Vice President of Diversity in Student Government Association next year.