Citadel cadets deliver strength, hope and leadership
Leadership Day 2015: Cadets learning to lead by serving their community
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They prepared sacks of oyster shells to bolster reefs and coached elementary school children who are learning to read. They tended a garden growing sustainable food for the hungry and packed boxes of food for South Carolina flood relief at Lowcountry Food Bank. On this one day alone, Leadership Day 2015, the entire South Carolina Corps of Cadets was solely dedicated to service learning and ethics education. The annual event is one part of a cadet's four years of required leadership development - but it is a favorite for cadets, their professors, and for the community agencies they serve.
More than 8,000 hours of service to the Lowcountry is provided by the cadets each Leadership Day; many to community partners where cadets volunteer year round.
One of the most visible activities was the kick off of a new Charleston Strong mural. Cadets assisted people who came from around the city in painting their own doves on the almost 300 ft. long wall along Rutledge Ave. The project, which was conceived of and managed by The Citadel Director of Fine Arts, was designed to be a symbol of hope for the city to which everyone could contribute.
One freshman's reflections on Leadership Day 2015
Early in the morning on Leadership Day, my group of freshman cadets boarded a bus and went to North Charleston Creative Arts elementary school. Our job as volunteers that day was to teach the kids about the meaning of the word “hero.”
It was very humorous listening to the kids’ responses when we asked them to describe or name a hero. Many responded with Superman, Spiderman, and other fictional superheroes. But when we repeated the same question, asking for real life examples, some of the kids told us that police officers and firefighters were their heroes. Others named their parents.
One of the young students said that we were heroes. That was a very humbling thing to hear as a freshman in college. I don’t do anything heroic, but it seemed that just by visiting with them that day in our cadet uniforms, we did make an impression.
It felt good that a child would think of us as heroes – though we know the real heroes are out there risking their lives every day protecting our cities and our country. I had a great time teaching the children that being a hero doesn’t mean someone has to be Superman; that everyone has the chance to be a hero to someone, sometime in their lives.
Lucas Beal, Class of 2019, New Haven, Indiana
A senior's reflection on Leadership Day 2015
Leadership Day at The Citadel provides cadets with the opportunity to serve and learn about the Charleston community. As a senior, I was given the opportunity to participate in the Senior Leadership Integration Seminar. This seminar allowed for each academic major and our ROTC units to explore possible career options and how our core values, honor, duty, and respect, play a part in our own professional development.
Following the seminar, I went to One80 Place, Charleston’s homeless shelter, and learned how to approach my career in psychology through professional networking and graduate school programs. Each speaker provided an overview of their profession, but more importantly, they discussed how to progress effectively and ethically within the field of psychology.
The speakers had a unique perspective on their work and emphasized the importance of helping people before getting ahead in the professional sector. The seminar gave me a new outlook on the future career in psychology as well as the amazing opportunity to hear individuals from various professions in the psychology field. The seminar allowed for me to blend the core values of The Citadel into my aspiration to be a clinical psychologist, and ultimately, see how every profession requires principled leadership.
Kathleen West, Class of 2016, psychology major
WATCH LEADERSHIP DAY 2015 IN ACTION BELOW
The Citadel would like to thank our more than 35 community partners, generous sponsors, and our neighbors, without whom Leadership Day would not be possible.