Me and my fellow Ambassador, Francisco, talking to student leaders at the Emerging Leaders Retreat.

Earlier this month, I attended Fresno State’s Emerging Leaders Retreat (ELR) as a Richter Center Ambassador and talked to the new cohort of emerging student leaders.  I previously participated in ELR and felt that the experience was unbelievable and so much fun!

The Emerging Leaders Retreat has been offered to Fresno State students since 2001 (though, back then, the program was called Leaders of Tomorrow).  The Center for Leadership, coordinated by Arthur Montejano and Breanne Scogin, runs the program with support from a group of student leaders called the Campus Involvement Ambassadors.  Angoal of ELR is  to encourage students to learn and become the leaders they already are.

As part of the Emerging Leaders Retreat, students complete the Edge Ropes Course.
As part of the Emerging Leaders Retreat, students complete the Edge Ropes Course.

Emerging Leaders Retreat is a three-day leadership training that is designed for Fresno State students to develop skills and learn about becoming a successful student leader. Students who want to be involved but do not know where to start can go through this retreat and discover their abilities, strengths, and challenges when being a leader and work to further understand them. ELR had a great partnership with other student organizations that are looking for active student leaders which ELR participants get to meet on the third day at the speed networking session.

During my experience as a participant, I was amazed by how much I learned about my style of leadership. I was challenged to step out of my comfort zone and further develop a skill I thought was not my strength. Through this experience I was able to develop my leadership skills and interact with fellow students who were very diverse, students who I would have not normally interacted with on a daily basis, students from different majors and ethnic backgrounds. I was able to see the diversity of Fresno State and build connections to the campus community. I still see students from my cohort and I’m lucky to call them my friends.


Serving at the Shinzen Gardens with my fellow emerging leaders back in March 2015.

One way that ELR helps develop leadership skills is by serving the community.  ELR partners with Every Neighborhood Partnership and the Shinzen Japanese Gardens  at Woodward park where students perform community service and learn from the service experience to further their leadership skills. The last day of the retreat students talk to different student organizations in a speed networking session where current student leaders provide information on leadership opportunities. Examples of the organizations that partake in the speed networking session are Alternative Spring Break (ASB), Associated Student Incorporated (ASI), Campus Involvement Ambassadors (CIA),  Dog Days , Every Neighborhood Partnership (ENP),  Richter Center Student Leaders (RCSL), University Student Union Board of Directors , and Vintage Days.

The Emerging Leaders Retreat is offered several times throughout the semester and is FREE to all Fresno State students and includes the ropes course experience, networking opportunities, community service and more. There are two remaining retreats this fall:

-Ambassador Alejandra