Shaping Futures: How 20 Student-Leaders Supercharged Spring Break

To see a video of students discussing the LeaderShape retreat, click this image!

Click this image to see a video of students talking about the LeaderShape Retreat!

Video by Joe O'Neill

Students learn blueprints for leadership

Article by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Spring break is a time to click “pause” on daily routines and power up in advance of the end-of-year crunch. The 20 student-leaders who spent this year’s spring break together in Newville, Pennsylvania, made the most of every minute, as they discovered pathways toward success in the weeks—and years—to come.

The students took part in Dickinson’s 2024 LeaderShape retreat, an intensive leadership-development program held at the Mt. Asbury Retreat Center, March 12-15. During their four days together, they deepened their understanding of themselves and what it means to be an effective leader in today’s world, crafted vision statements and developed skills to make sound decisions rooted in their core values. They also built close connections with fellow Dickinsonians who share their commitment to contributing meaningfully to the campus and the wider world.

“It has been absolutely amazing,” said Meghan Lord ’27 (political science). “I have met so many different people with so many different perspectives on life.”

Dickinson partnered with The LeaderShape Institute to present this intensive program, made available through support from Steve Smith '92, president and CEO of L.L.Bean. All interested Dickinson students were invited to apply. For some, it was a continuation of a journey they began last fall, when they attended Dickinson’s Emerging Leaders Retreat for first- and second-year students.

Emmanuel Arung Bate ’27 was among those who took part in both the fall and spring leadership-development programs. He came to LeaderShape with enhanced self-knowledge and close connections and emerged with deepened skills and a fresh appreciation for the ways that understanding others’ strengths and weaknesses can help leaders build optimal teams that move the needle toward shared goals. “This has been such a great experience in my life, in my trajectory,” he said, “We're talking about the world we live in right now and how we can take those steps to improve that world.”


Published March 19, 2024