Monday, 23 January 2017 14:26

SUNY Oswego Starr Shines with Oz Leads

Written by
Write a comment
Jackie Starr Jackie Starr Submitted photo

Jackie Starr is a junior, majoring in linguistics at SUNY Oswego and has recently found empowerment through the Oz Leads program after struggling from the previous year.

Starr admitted that previous to joining Oz Leads, she was struggling with a failed relationship but also from identity issues.

"I was constantly aspiring to be like my twin sister," Starr stated. She believed with the lack of her own identity in her freshman year, she had entered a relationship that stripped her of self-awareness and her personal passions. By the end of Spring semester 2015, she left the relationship and began to find passion in long-boarding. "I would long-board every day two miles to a cafe and just talk to people and, honestly, learn from them," Starr said.

One day, Starr received an email from SUNY Oswego about a new program the school was offering called Oz Leads. Oz Leads is a one-year leadership program that welcomes leaders, business owners and SUNY Oswego faculty, as well as international speakers to talk to students about their views on leadership experiences. After coming off a bad year and struggling with herself, Starr said, "I decided I need a life change, and I felt that my fear of leadership would jump start that change." Upon joining the program, Starr's goal was to learn. "I needed real, devoted exposure to leadership, personal development, and the mindset of change," stated Starr. She also admitted that she was desperate for a new way of thinking, as well as developing confidence building.

While her goals for the program fell nothing short of astonishing, it was what the program had taught her that was impeccable. "It taught me exactly what I needed to hear, so the timing was perfect. The first topic we dove into was self-awareness and self-leadership," said Starr. Self-awareness was something she was already struggling with and self-leadership was a fear for Starr. Both of these topics are considered to be the "foundation" of leadership according to Oz Leads. Not only did the program delve into her struggles and fears, but she also learned that she is accountable for her actions and her development, as well as her success. "Success wasn't going to fall into my lap, I had to create it myself," she said. During the first half of the program, she listened to speakers explain their leadership experience and she let the information sink in. During the second half of the program, she applied that information through her own individual projects, her joint projects with others in the program and her presentations. "Two of our presentations were at Johnson Hall as well as the Oswego High School Student Council," she said. "We received great feedback, especially from the Oswego High School seniors," said Starr.

After the program, Starr was nominated to take a course that involved her having to write a 500-word narrative about "What makes me passionate, then making a film conveying my narrative," she stated. Starr chose long-boarding, which she discovered after having a bad year and it helped pull her out of her rut she was in. "It began my journey, its a journey I'm still on today."

Since then, Starr has completed the program and might possibly return to mentor new students in the program. Currently, Starr is pledging to Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity on campus which is "Helping me progress even more and become interested in causes I didn't even know about prior to joining, especially in the community," Starr said. She believes that the Oz Leads program has helped strengthen her mindset which "Ultimately is necessary to do that at this age early on." She also believes that getting involved with Oz Leads and the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity will help keep her grounded.

Starr feels that she is still growing and developing and feels it will "absolutely go on for the rest of my life." Starr admitted she feels a lot stronger than she did before she joined Oz Leads. Starr said that she feels motivated to keep learning and will keep getting involved because "It keeps me grounded and keeps me progressing and opens up my mind which has been so beneficial," she said. We at hopes that Jackie continues her righteous path toward self-awareness, leadership, and self-empowerment.

Write comments...
symbols left.
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.