A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN ACTIVATING LEADERSHIP PARTICIPANT
Written by Megan Mark (AL Participant)
9:15 ARRIVAL & YOGA
I arrive to EFLI a little before 9:15 and put my things away. 9:15 is the start of yoga. I claim a mat and follow along with the practice. Before EFLI, I’d never done yoga, but the practice is easy to follow along. I love doing it because I think there is a bond that connects the group when we all do yoga together. The thirty minute practice concludes with shavasana, a minute dedicated to rest and setting an intention for the day.
After rolling up our mats, we head into the kitchen for a light breakfast. We always have lots of delicious and healthy food - fresh berries and granola and yogurt.
10:00 ENERGIZERS & PRACTICES START
The fellows lead us in an energizer game. These are always so fun and silly and make everyone laugh. We spend the rest of the morning in practices centering on connection, community, creativity, and confidence. These practices are accompanied by activities that make me think of the topic for that day in new and different ways. I love getting the chance to talk and listen to my fellow participants. Everyone has such interesting contributions that have changed the way I think.
11:45 LUNCH & ENERGIZER
After eye-opening discussions and activities, we have lunch together. Everyday lunch is prepared fresh for us. The food is amazing! Today, we had greek food. At EFLI, I get to try so many new cuisines and food. There's always something new to try! After lunch, fellows lead us in another energizer and then we go into workshops.
12:45 AFTERNOON ACTIVITIES - WORKSHOP & VISITING LEADERS
We had to choose two workshops from a lot of options. All of them had really cool focuses. I am part of a creative writing workshop. In the workshop, we explore our own stories and different ways to tell them. We use poetry and music to share our stories with the group. I'm also part of one workshop that focuses on revamping and embellishing your clothes to create a Powersuit - an article of clothing you can put on to show your most confident self. The final products are coming out so cool! I spoke to a friend who is doing a photography workshop and belly-dancing workshop. They sounded amazing, too! There's so many things to explore.
Sometimes, instead of workshops, we have visiting leaders come in. Yesterday, Kelly Zen Yie-Tsai came in to talk about her work with slam poetry and how she discovered herself through her art. She's performed at the White House and on HBO and MTV. Meeting the visiting leaders has been a really cool experience because I didn’t know so many unique stories existed so close to home.
To end the day, we reconvene as a whole group and close the day together with a bit of reflection and a quilt square! Everyday we decorate a quilt square that will come together in a giant quilt at the end of the program. The finished quilts tell the story of our sessions and are made using recycled EILEEN FISHER fabrics.
Megan Mark is a second year student at Vanderbilt University. After participating in Activating Leadership in 2012, she returned for additional EFLI programs during the summers of 2013 and 2014 and served as a LIFE FELLOW in 2015. Megan also interned with EFLI and served as a member of the YOUTH AMBASSADOR BOARD (YAB) during 2014 and YAB co-chair during the 2015 academic year.