[by YeSeul Kim ’10 and Anne Shen ’11]
Hello there MIT hopefuls and acceptees!
YeSeul >> Last year, I founded a really cool organization called the Leadership Training Institute (LTI). In high school, I was involved in a similar leadership program. What I appreciated the most was the opportunity to receive guidance and support from great role models, and I wanted to show the same generosity and kindness to others in helping them overcome their obstacles and accomplish their dreams. Humbled, I made it my mission to return the favor but knew that I could not do it alone. I wished to create a program to educate students on the significance of leadership in all aspects of life – be it social, academic, technological – and relay the concepts of leadership through an interactive curriculum. LTI was thus uniquely designed to empower students to cascade this act of giving.
Anne >> It’s true. Of all the leadership roles I took in high school, few ever entailed passing my own experiences on and developing others’ leadership potentials. Most of the activities I was involved with were along the lines of building houses, playing music at nursing homes, tearing up the soccer field; stuff like that. It was really exciting and indeed made a difference in my own and in other people’s lives. It wasn’t until I joined LTI, though, that I realized how much more directly we could contribute to our community by impacting our very neighbors! Last semester, I joined the Board of Directors who were the 2010 founders of the Leadership Training Institute. It was so exciting to be a part of something that had been developed from an idea YeSeul had during finals week because she didn’t feel like studying. (I highly don’t recommend this though. It doesn’t work for everyone.)
YeSeul >> Yes, please study for finals! Back to LTI… I don’t know if you watched Oprah Winfrey’s new TV show called the Big Give, but that’s the kind of mission LTI is on. LTI strives to instill in our students the four cornerstones of the program: charisma, knowledge, teamwork, and self-reflection. Throughout the program, students develop their own community service to address an issue they perceive in their own communities. LTI then funds their endeavors and supplies them with necessary contacts and resources.
Anne >> Thanks to many MIT students and support from MIT administrators, LTI has moved on from a vision into reality. Last summer, we tested our curriculum through MIT’s Educational Studies Program: High School Summer Program. Oversubscribed, the program received great interest and feedback from the students. Last semester, we worked hard: having weekly late-night meetings in the study rooms of Baker House, scribbling and idea here, sketching a sweet LTI logo there, coming up with a potential new addition to the curriculum there… thought mazes galore would appear on the dry erase board as seven eager and active minds pieced together the skeleton of this mentorship program. From publicity to recruitment, curriculum development to finance, all the aspects of any fully functional and self-sufficient program had to be organized and taken care of. Now, in March, just shy of a year since this program was just an idea, the program is in full swing.
YeSeul >> Today, there is a Board of Directors, five committees, and eight mentors, bringing the total of those involved in LTI to about 20 people. And to think that this program began less than a year ago! The coolest part is that most of our members are freshmen. And you could be the next generation! We are hoping to expand to other college campuses by 2010. This summer, LTI is going global! Semmie (Associate Director), Sarah (Publicity Director), and I are traveling to Mexico this summer through MISTI-Mexico to teach underprivileged youth our leadership curriculum and hopefully create a sustainable partnership between LTI and Casa-Telmex. I will also be traveling to China later in the summer to teach high school Chinese students about leadership through another brand-new program called the China Development Initiative.
Anne >> There’s a lot to do at MIT. In fact, your biggest problem might be deciding which of the hundreds of activities to join once you come to MIT. If you are a high school student who currently lives around the Boston area, shoot us an email at [email protected] to see if you are eligible to join us in the fall or get involved somehow. If you are in the Class of 2012, I highly encourage you to check us out at CPW in either the CPW Activities Midway Fair or attend our Info Session on Friday from 4 – 5 PM in Room 4-145. Keep an eye out for our recruitment emails in the fall. Be a part of our LTI community!
YeSeul >> And you can always visit our website for more information.
Anne >> See you guys during CPW! Don’t leave without trying the liquid nitrogen ice cream!!
YeSeul Kim, ’10
& Anne Shen, ’11