Monday, February 20, 2017

Applying the Values of PTK to My Life

By Tsewang Rinzin

Now that I am about to graduate from LaGuardia community college, and as I reflect back on those two years that I had spent at my school, it was truly an amazing journey. With its four pillars of Leadership, Fellowship, Service, and Scholarship, PTK has been an academically life changing experience for me. I was challenged and as a result of it, I changed for the better. I was once a shy student who when put in the spotlight, I would speak very fast to get back into my comfortable seat. However, under Alpha Theta Phi’s leadership development program with Professor Chris Singh, I was able to step out from my comfort zone and was able to improve my public speaking skills. I was able to get in the habit of slowing my speaking pace and engaging with the audience. And the first time in my life, I felt good about my speaking ability because now, my audience could actually understand me. Because of this new skill that I had acquired, I was also able to connect with like-minded PTK members and learn from others.
I believe some of us live two separate lives as community college students. Many of us work and take care of our children and sick parents while being a full-time student. With that much to juggle, it is hard for us to feel like a part of our school community. However, with fellowship workshops with our chapter, we are able to serve our chapter members and help them learn about resources available on campus such as connecting them with transfer services staff or showing how to access the resources at our health center. In terms of service, which is one of our pillars of PTK, we are able to give back to our community. As a part of service, our chapter participated in activities like a food drive where we collect can food so that we could donate to others. To add to that, we have also shared knowledge of what we learn through two research projects, the College Project and Honors in Action project. And last but not the least, scholarships provided by PTK are extremely valuable for our member's further education. Through our fellowship workshop, we are bringing awareness about the possibility of scholarship opportunity which our members can apply. Joining PTK has been one of the single most important decisions that I had ever made. In their book “The Student Leadership Challenge”, James Kouzes and Barry Posner wrote, “Leadership is the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspiration.” I constantly find myself striving to become a leader who can move others and be willing to go through obstacles so that we can achieve our joined goal. I got introduced to this quote which stuck with me for over a year now all because of PTK.

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