As a freshman in my first semester of Peer Facilitator training, I was completely amazed by the number of tasks we could accomplish in a two-hour training session. I learned about giving feedback, expecting challenges with students, presentation skills, and most importantly the history of the Barger Leadership Institute. This was especially important for me, a member of the student staff, to understand why this organization exists and what its ultimate purpose is -- to teach University of Michigan students leadership skills in an action-based learning environment. The reason why this organization has been successful in achieving this goal is that they truly practice what they preach in leadership.

As a Peer Facilitator in the ALA 175 Leadership Lab, my role is to help students develop their own leadership skills. However, I found that I was able to amplify my own time management, organization, strategy, and communication skills like no other job has been able to teach me. The Barger Leadership Institute provides a constant learning environment from start to finish, including a variety of opportunities for students from every walk of life. As someone passionate about business and impact, I was able to participate in the Capstone Experience to grow 3 Degrees, an initiative that aims to make sustainably affordable in Ann Arbor by purchasing compostable products via bulk buying. The mentorship my team received from the pro-staff, as well as the graduate student mentors, was invaluable, and we have them as resources even after completing the program.

Even though I have been a Peer Facilitator for five semesters, my job never gets boring! I can work on something new every week and learn from my peers around me. The most rewarding part of this journey has been finding a diverse community that I can rely on for work, support, and even friendship. My college experience is synonymous with the Barger Leadership Institute, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.