This summer, Thetas Alli Ladage, Carly Vordtriede, and Nina O’Connell travelled to the Emerging Leaders Institute at DePauw University. Alli Ladage and Nina O’Connell share what ELI was and how it impacted them.
What is ELI?
Alli: ELI takes women who have leadership potential and gives them confidence and empowers them to act and make a positive change.
Nina: ELI stands for the Emerging Leaders Institute. It is essentially a seminar for Thetas interested in becoming more useful, skilled, and courageous leaders. It brought together 60+ leading women from all over North America, including Canada. It helped us analyze how each chapter interacts with its school community and allowed us to brainstorm ideas for possible actions we could each take to improve Theta in our home chapter.
What was the most memorable part of ELI?
Alli: The most memorable part for me was when they asked us to write down what was holding us back from doing something and so many people said confidence or the fear of failure.
Nina: The most memorable part for me while I was at ELI was we played an activity that involved every Theta. We responded with "always, sometimes, or seldom" to questions about how our chapter behaves on campus, and it was very eye opening to see how each chapter reacted differently to each question. It made me realize that some chapters have the same problems we do, and that some chapters deal with situations I've never even thought about.
What were you surprised by during ELI?
Alli: ELI surprised me because it formed bonds between me and sisters that lived across the country in four short days. We still talk to each other everyday and check in.
Nina: I was pretty surprised that not all of the facilitators were Thetas. Half of them were males and the other half have worked with Theta before but were never Thetas themselves.
What was ELI's impact?
Alli: ELI impacted me because it gave me a lot of confidence and redefined my definition of leadership. Going forward, I'll use what I learned at ELI to strive for positive change and to give others as much confidence as possible because that's what people told me was holding them back.
Nina: I felt that ELI has allowed me to become a courageous and heartfelt leader, and to always share my ideas even if I don't think people want to hear them; because if I think that I have a good idea then someone else might too, and if not then we can work together to come up with a better solution to the problem we are facing. I believe this ideology will also follow me throughout other aspects of my college career and hopefully beyond. Overall, I found ELI to be an eye-opening experience that also allowed me to make friends with Thetas all across America and Canada.
We are the Eta Omega chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta at Saint Louis University. We were established on November 9th, 2013. We have over 180 wonderful sisters that are alike in many ways but all with unique interests. Our blog will highlight many of these.