I’m not sure I could pinpoint one particular leader who stand out above the rest, but I have known many leaders in my life and they all have qualities I find important and crucial to success of a group. I think the very basics of being a good leader include showing up, acceptance of and support for those around you, ability to give guidance based on group input, availability when asked for assistance, and lastly leading by example and providing direct answers when your example is questioned. I’ve gathered this simple list by taking note of the few excellent professors I’ve had, people with whom I volunteer, and especially the leaders I’ve met here in CUNY Peer Leaders. The patience, love and understanding offered to myself and those in my various communities has helped me identify the kind of leader I hope and intend to be. I find an excellent characteristic of leadership, that I appreciate in particular, is the ability to share one’s own experience honestly. Being able to say, “I hear you. I’ve been there or somewhere similar. This is what happened to me and how I got through to the other side. Does that help? Is there anything I can do to help you get through this now?” is a skill, and I find when people meet me with this response, I am grateful to not feel alone in my feelings, experiences, or journey through life.

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