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SOAR into Leadership

November 20th, 2013 by ebeck722

By: Meaghan '15 Meaghan Cleaver

As the fall semester is winding down and finals are just a few weeks away, you may be feeling as though you have finally gotten settled in here. You know where all the buildings around campus are located and you feel like you have finally learned the ropes of being a Roger Williams student. Now that you are feeling at home here you may wish you had gotten more involved in campus clubs and organizations and perhaps you want to become a student leader and share your RWU spirit with other students. Well, it is never too late to get involved at RWU and a great program to participate in is the SOAR program!

SOAR is a leadership program based off the Social Change Model, an idea that leadership consists of three parts: the individual, the group, and the community.  The program is broken down into three tiers, each of which focuses on a different aspect of the model. 

Emerge is the 1st tier and it lasts for one semester. This tier is all about you! In Emerge you complete personality assessments to find out about what values mean the most to you and what type of leadership style you have.  You also work together with other group members to talk about the things you value the most and get to know one another.  The activities you complete are fun and you meet a bunch of new people!

Develop is the 2nd tier, and it also lasts for one semester. This tier is all about teambuilding! In this tier you do projects with the other members of your SOAR class to learn how to best use your leadership style when working in a group setting. The class is divided into groups where you work together to complete a Capstone project. When I participated in the Develop tier, my group’s Capstone project aimed to stop RWU students from using offensive words in conversation.  It was a topic we all felt passionate about and together we brought our best leadership skills to the table to make it happen!

Lead is the 3rd tier, and it lasts for an entire year. This tier is the most fun and exciting because you get to take all of the things you have learned about who you are and what you stand for, as well as how you work with others and apply it directly to projects in the community! I am currently participating in this tier and it has been awesome so far! A few weeks ago we worked with students from Mount Hope High School to teach them about leadership and we are currently deciding on a Community Involvement Project to work on next semester where we will put our leadership skills into action through volunteer work in the Rhode Island community!

The SOAR program is a great way to get involved on campus because you get to know a bunch of other students, strengthen your leadership abilities, and have a lot of fun in the process! The skills you learn in the SOAR program help you in your daily life as you can apply these leadership skills to the courses you take, the other clubs and organizations you are involved in, and in the future to help with your career!

If you are interested in joining the SOAR program next semester, you can find the Emerge application on the RWU website at:

http://rwu.edu/campus-life/get-involved/student-programs-leadership/soar