Kean University is known for creating and helping students develop and learn different skills such as leadership, communication and professionalism. One way students can be involved is through the Leadership Institute, which houses Jorge Morales, a freshman studying psychology.
Morales is a part of the Transition to Kean (T2K) Bronze Leadership Program which is for first-year students and involves a pre-orientation program that offers 50 first-year students a chance to learn about leadership, explore campus involvement, build connections with peers and upperclassmen, and become leaders themselves.
When asked about his involvement at Kean University, Morales mentioned the many factors that lead to his dedication at this university and explained how they enhanced his experience here at Kean.
"I am in the outdoor recreation club where I go out to play basketball and volleyball as an intramural sport. I am also in the Leadership Program here at Kean University. The Leadership Program mostly consists of some selected students that were hand-picked from their high school graduation to assemble a group of leaders in order to promote more leadership capabilities, clubs, sports, teams and overall campus life."
Morales realized the opportunities he would have joining Leadership. As a freshman starting college, it can be overwhelming knowing what to do, but Leadership opens doors for students looking to get involved.
"With the leadership program, I chose it because I wanted an extra edge in college and also it included a weekend retreat over the summer which is really awesome. It got me to interact with more students before I even went to student orientation and got more accustomed to the campus as well," Morales continued. "So far since I started at Kean University, I have been a part of the Bronze program where we just had a retreat, which consisted of many tactics, icebreakers and getting to know each other. It also pushed us to take another step forward into our college life. We really expressed a lot on other capabilities like time management, confidence boosting and moralities in classrooms especially."
Leadership seeks to influence students and Morales opened up about how involvement and being active has influenced his life and morals.
"Leadership has influenced me a lot to take another step in college and I am also more involved in clubs with lots of community service hours. Just because of the leadership program, I have many opportunities that have really benefited me and it has opened my eyes more to the other opportunities Kean can offer."
When asked if he would apply what he has learned from Leadership. He explained that time management and wanting the best for oneself can help anyone develop their future.
"I do believe that I will apply what I have learned from leadership into my future career and life. I think that most of what I will take from it will be time management and being a leader they really emphasize on taking a step forward, being in front of the class, having the best grades and trying overall to have the best experience. They also gave everyone else the best experience as well."
As a psychology major, Morales understands how compromising and sacrificing oneself and knowledge can achieve accomplishments.
"Being a leader to me is being someone who is capable of compromising and sacrificing themselves [for the success of] their followers, in order to give their followers a better achievement and better sense of accomplishment."
The Leadership program values individualism, consciousness of self and commitment which Morales understands and dedicates his time to.
"So far as a freshman, I have focused on T2K and it's really an open book to gain more friends, especially in the leadership program because we have similar backgrounds but we are so diverse. This makes us understand each other clearly and helps us come to a conclusion that this world is bigger than you really think," Morales replied. "T2K and Leadership are both important and I think they should keep continuing to help new students. There are some students who I witnessed in student orientation that don't really have a sense of who they are, what they are going to do, how college is going to be and that makes them very nervous. That nervousness could lead to being unprepared for college, so it is very important for new students to be a part of T2K."
With last words, Morales emphasized that he holds on to leadership and the friends he has made there.
"I want to leave Kean University and Leadership with a certification saying that I completed the Leadership program for four years as a platinum leader. I would also say that working really nicely in groups, being a team member of a group and making sure everything works well will help me in my future. I would also say that now there isn't anything I can't do."