Saturday, August 5, 2017

It's Not Over Until the Puzzle is Complete

We met up for our final day of class on Friday. When I arrived I was touched when Mary Grace and Imani were wearing the Women & Leadership buttons I made them. Then started class with a final group activity.

It starts with everyone having their eyes closed, and Mary Grace goes around the room tapping on a few shoulders. If someone was touched they open their eyes and make their way to the center of the room. Next, she reads a few statements (for example, one was who made you laugh till your side hurt) and the people standing go around the room tapping who ever they believe fits the description.
Last class for Women & Leadership 2017

This activity was the best one we did in the last two weeks. It was very personal and since we had our eyes close we couldn’t tell who was tapping us so it was ok to tap or not tap anyone. Whenever I was tapped the smile on my face grew wider and the tears in my eyes kept coming. When we were told to open our eyes many of the ladies had tears running down our faces, my friend Victoria even had streaks of mascara running down her face. After that it was even harder to say good bye.

Next Mary Grace gave us all a little bag filled with six different items. Each one represented something different.
  • Tissues: She wanted us to know that it was ok to cry 
  • Rubber band: To make sure we remember not to stretch ourselves too much because we will break
  • Band Aid: Because taking risks means that there is a possibility we will get hurt but we will always heal
  • Play-Doh: To signify leadership and how no one is born a leader but rather it takes time to shape yourself into one
  • Bubbles: To remind us that when we are being pushed to the end by pettiness and competition we can and will rise above it to be great leaders
  • Four Puzzle Pieces: Out of a box of 100 she gave everyone four to signify that one day we will all come together to finish it and today wasn’t the end but the beginning
At this point I found myself in tears and needing a tissue, and I was not alone. We also received heartfelt letters from Ashley. Imani gave me a picture of Ashley, her, and myself. And we finished with a few more goodbyes and one last class selfie.
After lunch, we attended our last presentation as the Leadership Institute. We heard from all of the instructors and from Kisa Takesue. We ended the presentation with a video which was made by the RA’s showing our time at Brown.

After splitting up into our Action Plan presentation groups we headed to our respective rooms. When we got to our room we wasted no time in beginning. I felt nervous because I had to go first but the audience consisted of about four other students and their parents.

I wanted my plan to be something that was obtainable and could help many people. I decided on creating a platform for Contra Costa College that would hold all the events, club meeting, and recourses students need. Students would be able to access this anywhere so they can find what they need in the five minutes they have between juggling school and their home lives.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and tea
After finishing I ran to the car and we made our way to the airport to catch our first flight. During this flight, I managed to nap which I cannot say for the next one. The second flight I could not sleep but did take advantage of the free entertainment they offered. The second flight was very comfortable but I could not wait to get off because that would mean I would finally be home.

Once we reached El Cerrito High School we took a few photos. While we took the photos my dad and youngest brother (Alex) arrived. I was very surprised to see that he was still awake, I was later told that he had been counting down the days to my return.

Friday was a very eventful day from saying goodbye, presenting our Action Plans, and jumping on a plane to come back home but it’s only the beginning of the journey.

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