At the end of an orientation day our student staff likes to give kudos to one another to keep up our positive team morale.  Yesterday was my last orientation day and when it was time to give kudos everyone’s hands shot up.  I was caught off guard, but I figured it was a great day and everyone had something nice to say for a job well done.  Neel got called on first and then time was a blur from there. 

Neel: “I’d like to give kudos to Celine.”

Celine: “I’m gonna give my kudos to Susan.” 

Susan: “I’ll pass my kudos to…ready everyone? 1, 2, 3!” 

Next thing I saw was everyone pointing at me shouting, “ASHLEY!” 

I felt my eyes widen, my hands shake, and my mouth drop. I’m pretty sure I swallowed a gnat. 

They had it all planned out.  Words, tears, gifts, and hugs were shared.  My last farewell to each individual student included everything that I saw in them.  Potential.  Leadership.  Inspiration.  Worth.  Then it dawned on me that everything I truly saw in them was what my mentors saw in me.  

So is this what it feels like to lead others?  To serve, grow leaders, and be a role model?  Is this how it feels to live my passion and to impact others?  To influence a group of people of different backgrounds and stories to come together for one goal?  

Is this what it feels like to do good in the world? If so, then I’ll continue to do my best, walk through doors of opportunities, and keep it open for others to walk through as well.  

My students are hands down my most favorite part of the job and they are the hardest part to leave.