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Update: Student Leadership Experience Fall Retreat


Community members show their appreciation for Student Leadership Experience (SLE) participants and El Pomar Fellows as they repair flood damage in Manitou Springs, CO.


Enhancing leadership education at college campuses across Colorado, the El Pomar Student Leadership Experience (SLE), held their first retreat of this year at the beginning of October. Working with colleges and universities to supplement the curriculum in leadership programs SLE is designed to give 40 undergraduate students from 10 university leadership programs exposure to leadership skills and training in the non-profit and foundation sector.

SLE Scholars participate in three weekend retreats during the school year, in addition to a year-long immersive and substantive project at a local non-profit. During their first retreat scholars had the opportunity to work on team building at the Challenger Learning Center, participate in three curriculum sessions, and attend talks from distinguished guest speakers in the Colorado Springs military and non-profit community, among other activities.

Majoring in environmental science and ecological restoration, SK Gaskell, a participant from Metropolitan State University describes the program in his own words:

In our changing world, strong and meaningful leadership is ever more important, so organizations that support young leaders in Colorado are truly changing the world. I feel fortunate to have been a part of the 2013 Student Leadership Experience through El Pomar Foundation. As a first year member, I've been astounded to see the level of enthusiasm and passion of my fellow leaders. What's most amazing is that the people I interacted with while on the retreat are already leaders, they were partaking in SLE to further their efforts and become more effective.

Some of my favorite experiences involved getting to know the other leaders in the program through bonding activities and volunteering in the Colorado community. Through SLE we were able to give back by repairing some of the flood damage that devastated so many areas of Colorado this past summer. As a more pragmatic person, I was relieved we were not swamped by unattainable idealism. The leaders I met at SLE are strong, oriented individuals who are able to work within realistic restraints to make something beautiful happen for the world.

I am thrilled to be a part of a program offering concrete opportunities for growth, friendship and meaningful change in the world.

I give thanks to the wonderful people who put this retreat together and those that made the call to let me be a part of this movement.

Sincerely yours,

SK Gaskell