Magazine article Techniques

Seven Personal Accounts from the 2012 ACTE Fellowship Team

Magazine article Techniques

Seven Personal Accounts from the 2012 ACTE Fellowship Team

Article excerpt

Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Each year since 2009, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has supported the National Leadership Fellowship Program. This program is geared towards individuals with a desire not only to develop their own leadership skills, but also to become advocates for career and technical education (CTE). Responsibilities and expectations for the program are broken down into three categories: leadership development, public policy and professional development.

The Fellows participate in a wide variety of virtual and onsite activities and events from January through December. Following are accounts from the 2012 Fellows on the value of this leadership development program and the importance of advocacy.

Connie Strebe--Region I (Ohio)

What an amazing year 2012 turned out to be! What a fun learning experience! The Fellowship Program introduced me to and indoctrinated me in advocacy. Through the program of work and book study, I truly was instructed about and pushed to participate in the advocacy process. It has taught me to be a better leader by learning to place statements and thoughts forward in a timely and professional manner. In addition, the networking with stakeholders will prove invaluable today and tomorrow in my career. I have had the opportunity Lu meet CTE leaders from across the country and have deep conversations about the process that: is CTE. I have learned so many strategies and ideas while sharing my own with others. The network or friends and colleagues is an absolute bonus to the program!

Chaney Mosley--Region II (Tennessee)

There is a quote from Mahatma Gandhi that I had previously read, but not really understood: "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." Over the past year, though, I have come to appreciate the wisdom of Gandhi in the context of CTE.

Before participating in the Fellowship Program, I would sit quietly at the announcement of an advocacy campaign or initiative, humming in my head, "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)," passively waiting for what lay ahead. Not anymore, though. Previously, the thought of advocacy campaigns seemed a waste of one voice, my voice, seemed insignificant (and alone, admittedly, probably was, what I have learned is that the collective voice of many is loud and can have a powerful impact. Since starting the Fellowship Program, I have capitalized on social media outlets for advocacy, but I have found that what works best for me is one-on-one interaction.

Stories and numbers are the things that are most helpful to me as a leader in CTE. When engaging in conversation with others about CTE, 1 frequently cite statistics or give anecdotes that lead to additional conversations. This was a result of attending the ACTE National Policy Seminar (NPS) in March 2012. Our federal legislators in Washington, DC, were eager to hear success stories about students from back home, and I gave them what they wanted. When a staff member asked for additional information, I would give them the numbers and the sources of information. I also made sure to collect contact information, and I followed up with additional relevant information.

Another takeaway from the Fellowship Program was the importance of staying up to date on information. To do this, I created a Google Alert where I receive a weekly e-mail comprised of news related to CTE. This allows me to quickly scan what has happened throughout. the week, and when I find something of interest, I send a link through e-mail or post it on a social media outlet for others to read.

Now, I find myself having conversations about CTE daily--at the dentist, in the grocery store, in an elevator and even on a five-mile run with my morning running club. (I can tell a lot of CTE stories in five miles! …

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