When the idea to renovate the Quad first came to mind, I scoffed at the idea of someone as inexperienced in the field of decor such as myself leading such a massive transition. My ideas for the space were strong, I knew, but I was so afraid that they would not match the often out-of-this-world expectations of my Leadership classmates. If I took on this project, I would have to do so with 100% effort in hopes of creating a change that is undeniably beneficial to Center students both socially and academically.
I presented my initial plans to Mrs. Hewlett, who agreed to the project under the strict condition that the room must make a very obvious transition over the course of the Capstone. Gathering finances proved to be fairly straightforward, and I opened the project to donations via both a Center class fundraising competition and a public GoFundMe page. In total, I raised and spent exactly $1,527.80. This money went towards purchases of everything from paint to bean bag chairs to outlet covers. I wanted there to be a significant change in every area of the room possible so that it would be an entirely new experience for returning students. Without the help of countless volunteers and donors, this project by Leadership for Leadership could not have been as successful as it was.
One month after the project was fully completed with the extinguishing of my final penny, I provided Leadership students with a simple survey so that I could gather data regarding how impactful the new Quad really is in their school life. The resulting information showed that an estimated 67% of Leadership students donated to this Capstone - a very impressive showing! Even more amazingly, the survey also displayed that 98.4% of students surveyed felt that “the Quad is a great area for educational as well as social promotion, and it is a strong showcase of the Leadership community.” Beyond anything, this project showed me that the Leadership Center has provided me with a foundation to lead positive change in any situation - no matter if I have any previous experience in the subject. Although I certainly needed help along the way, it was the qualities of leadership that I learned from this program that made giving back to it so triumphant in the end.