From grandparents to recent graduates, skydivers to gardeners, and Blackhawks fans to Packers fans, participants in the Multicultural Leadership Program Class of 2019 are uniquely diverse but firmly united in their resolve to grow as servant leaders.
This year’s participants have origins in countries across the world, from Guyana to India, before their eventual arrival in Bloomington-Normal. They also represent a wide array of interests and passions, with education, pro bono legal representation, international development, and the environment being just a few. Outside their work in marketing, law, education, and more, they dedicate their time to multiple causes, including the American Red Cross and the VA Hospital.
With a vast range of life experiences, each of them is entering the program with different motivations to develop as leaders over the next nine months of their leadership journey.
For participants like Sarah Moravec, whose time studying and interning in Kenya eventually led her to discover a passion for social work, MCLP is their chance to gain a deeper awareness of global perspectives and cultures. Others, such as long-time Bloomington-Normal resident Lori Marmion, see MCLP as an opportunity to give back to the community where they have raised their families. Former active duty Navy member BreAune Sanja hopes that MCLP will help her develop confidence in her leadership skills, while trainer and educator Nayoka Griffis believes that the program will contribute to her ability to inspire confidence in others.
As they begin the program, participants are finding inspiration in the words of historical figures from Hindu monk Swami Vivekanda to poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. On a more personal level, participants are feeling called by their faith, encouraged by their family, or spurred on by an inner spark to make a profound change in the world. Despite their many differences, all sixteen participants are willing to dive headfirst into MCLP with enthusiasm, hard work, and positivity as they grow both as individuals and as leaders in their communities. Check out our Class of 2019 bios to read more about each participant.
By Rachel McCarthy