My road to becoming a Student Advisory Board (SAB) Co-Chair/Student Board Member started in an unlikely place—and that place was Rome, Italy.
I vividly remember the sense of panic I felt when I got an email from the National Office gently asking and reminding me that applications for the position were due soon and encouraging me to submit one. I had fully intended to apply, yet there I was, 2 weeks and hundreds of miles away from my laptop and all my files. I was impressed that I could even get Wi-Fi on my phone in our ‘modest’ hostel. At that moment of panic, I could never imagine how rewarding, humbling, and deeply exhilarating the next few months of interviews, training, and then transition to being a Student Board Member would be.
As I’m quickly approaching my first board meeting, I still have trepidations and uncertainties. However, I am now more sure than ever that I made a very good decision to apply for this position and the opportunity to work with every integral part of the Nourish movement. I am continually blown away by the caliber of excellence in all of the individuals I am working with.
My work started in July as I got to know my Co-Chair, John McCreary. Neither of us knew exactly what to expect, nor did we have a firm grasp on the details of the journey we were embarking on together. Those first orientation calls with Allie at the National Office and last year’s wonderful Co-Chairs, Claire Kane and Kyle Forrester, helped us shape our enthusiasm into understanding. Side phone calls with just John allowed he and I to establish trust and a friendship on which to base our increasing interactions.
By the time the Summer Institute arrived in August, John and I had already logged several hours and spent several nights of work developing our vision for this year’s Student Advisory Board. So despite having never met him, I already felt like John and I had known each other for years. The openness and optimism that we shared with each other as well as the encouragement and support that Kyle Forrester provided leading up to and all throughout the Summer Institute allowed us all to work together exceptionally well. By the end of the Institute we put the final touches on Kyle and Claire’s work from the year before and unveiled Nourish’s new Mission, Vision, and Values—all while building stronger support for this year’s yet to be determined SAB project.
Since the Summer Institute, John and I have continued to grow the base of the SAB. Our last couple weeks have been filled with emails and phone calls and Facebook messages as we work to recruit this year’s group of chapter and regional representatives. The more emails I send, and the more interaction I have with other chapters, the more excited I get about the potential of the SAB and the Nourish movement. It’s still very early in the year (in fact, many of our West Coast chapters still haven’t returned to classes), but I am filled with hope and expectations for a successful year ahead.
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