in General News

by McKenna Gallagher, Theta Iota (California State U, San Marcos), 2020-2021 Educational Leadership Consultant 

Looking back on this year and my time as an ELC, the resilience this year has shown me has been truly remarkable. It’s hard to believe that my time as an Educational Leadership Consultant is slowly coming to an end. It only feels like yesterday I was heading to Brentwood, TN for my final interview, feeling SO nervous about the weekend ahead.

In a few months, the journey of this short timeline of my life will remain in the past, but the experiences I have learned along the way will stay with me forever. Working as an ELC has shown me how strong I am, how adaptable I can become and how important it is to put yourself out there. The experience I have gained through my journey as an ELC has been one of my life’s greatest adventures.

Being hired pre-pandemic, I pictured my time as an ELC going a different way. The traveling and in-person events across the United States and Canada turned into Zoom meetings, virtual chapter visits and onsite locations for a semester at a time. Adjusting to living life in a pandemic, not experiencing the graduation ceremony from college I was expecting and losing the last semester of my senior year only gave me the determination to make the most of the opportunities presented in front of me. The world changed in the blink of an eye, but the love and sisterhood for AOII has remained constant.

Through the ups, downs, and everything in between, this year has given me some of my best memories. It has given me some of my best friends, the greatest ELC team ever and the best experiences I could have imagined.  Meeting all of the women I did in a virtual setting has shown me the extent of how impactful you can be when you set your mind to it. I applied to be an ELC to make a difference and impact collegiate women, the same way they impacted me.

Thank you to the women of Beta Nu at Illinois State University for letting me experience a part of the country I never thought I would. Thank you to Tau Mu at Texas A&M University for welcoming me with open arms. Thank you to all of the chapters I met with virtually for allowing me to make a difference. Lastly, thank you to the women on my team for being there for me 25/8. This was truly the experience of a lifetime, and you all were the best part of it. Everything this year has thrown has given me the experience and mindset of what it means to be resilient. After all, the best leaders don’t have all the answers, but they do know where to find them. And I found my best answers with AOII.

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