By McKenna Luzynski, Assistant News Editor
A long weekend at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. usually consists of busy days waiting in line, riding roller coasters and perusing “The Happiest Place on Earth,” hoping to catch a glimpse of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, but for students in Furman’s Shucker Leadership Institute students, the trip was a little bit different.
For the 25 sophomore Shucker Fellows, this was more than just an exciting getaway for fall break: it was the Disney Leadership Experience.
“We learned teamwork strategies, which include sharing our visions, building connections, learning how to delegate responsibilities and provide training, and creating an environment that truly promotes creativity and innovation,” sophomore Kathleen Marsh said.
In addition, the fellows had the opportunity to network with Furman alumni in the Orlando area.
Marsh believes that she and the other fellows will carry these memories with them for the rest of their lives, but more importantly they will utilize the skills they have gained through both the Disney Leadership Experience and their time in the Shucker Leadership Institute as a whole to be successful in their future endeavors.
The Shucker Leadership Institute guides 25 first-year students in a two-year program. According to the website, the program is “designed to foster the development of emerging student leaders and prepare students for a lifetime of meaningful leadership and service.”
“Shucker is a leadership development institute that focuses on activities promoting self-realization,” Marsh said. “You do a lot of leadership development and networking. I describe it as a leadership incubator.”
The fellows then take those skills and use them to benefit the community. One way they do this is by completing a Leadership Challenge Project during their second year.
“There are four focus areas, and the 25 of us are split into four groups,” Marsh said. “We are all hosting events or creating projects regarding our topics.”
The Disney Leadership Experience was a first-time offering for the Shucker Leadership Institute, but its success made sure it will not be the last. Marsh, for one, enjoyed the program.
“We’ve learned a lot about our personal strengths through the program,” Marsh said. “It has helped me to be more in tune with what it takes to be a good leader, and it has given me a good tool-set to be a leader on campus. I know more now than I would have if we hadn’t have gone on this trip.”