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Guest blog post by Growing Leaders Intern, Tess Harper

For the past few months, I have had the wonderful opportunity to serve as an intern at a non-profit organization called Growing Leaders. Created in 2003 by Dr. Tim Elmore, the mission of the company is to reach out to students by providing them with resources on how to be successful leaders. The most captivating part is that their definition of “leader” is not necessarily someone of success or wealth, but rather someone of great values and immense character. This concept of leadership has enabled me to discover my own capabilities as a person of influence.

I graduated in 2009 with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. As a freshman, I was very intent on one day becoming a broadcast journalist, and being a platform for the unheard voices of my generation. However, with the inundation of technology in the classroom during my college career, my journalistic dream had to transition into one that embraced social media and online blogging as a way to stay “connected.” My internship at Growing Leaders has allowed me to do just that; connect with children and young people, as well as older adults who have an interest in transforming society.

Upon my arrival at Growing Leaders, Dr. Elmore was in the process of promoting his book, Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future. This was a great time for me to join the team, because I felt that the book highlighted all of the frustrations I had felt with not only my generation during college, but also the hampering side effects technology had on our society. Before, I felt as if I saw my peers becoming less and less engaging and personable as they were immersed in the culture of social media and its isolating effects. The best part though was that the book, as well as the organization itself, offered authentic solutions to the apathetic ethos young people had created and how everyone involved, whether it be students, parents or teachers, could help.

If I were asked to choose one word for my internship experience thus far, I would choose “growth.” There have been a few challenges to my internship, which have caused me to recognize my weaknesses and find ways to improve them. The experience has also highlighted my strengths and showed me how to use these skills to become a successful leader. I have been given the opportunity to interact with Generation iYers and provide ways, as Tim likes to say, “influence the influencers,” which is an invaluable experience.

Tess

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For more info about internship opportunities with us at Growing Leaders, check out our website here. We are currently looking for a spring intern to begin in January 2011. We’d love for you to join us!

If you would like to speak with someone here at our office with any questions or need more info, please contact us at 770.495.3332. Thanks!

Tim

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Guest blog post by Growing Leaders Intern, Tess Harper