January 16, 2017

I can honestly say that I never understood the true meaning of leadership before I got to college (University of South Florida/USF). I always refer to my attendance at CCWL Annual Conference 2011 (Formally SEPC) as the ‘ah ha’ moment in identifying my leadership potential.

At the time, I was a newly initiated member of Alpha Omicron Pi, serving as the chapter’s Panhellenic Delegate. This meant that I was invited on the council trip to the Annual Conference – I was THRILLED and had no idea what to expect.

At the Annual Conference 2011, I attended the session on Circle of Sisterhood, which was almost just a year old at the time. I was so inspired to bring this to USF Panhellenic and made my first motion that following week to adopt CofS as our council’s philanthropy.

I was nervous to make such a bold move as such a new member of the community. I’ll never forget the feeling of all Panhellenic chapters voting yes. I had used my voice and my passion for change to actually make a change! USF still strongly supports CofS to this day.

Flash forward to 2017 where I am in my 2nd year on the Business Development team at Her Campus Media, the leading new-media brand for college women (you may be most familiar with Hercampus.com). Every day I am pitching innovative ideas and building campaigns that connect top brands with college women, both online and on-campus.

I can easily credit my confidence in selling what I believe in to my journey as a sorority woman – I then joined the Panhellenic Exec Board followed by several positions in my chapter and in other on-campus organizations. All of those leadership opportunities became a reality after that life-changing CofS session at the Annual Conference. (Thanks, Ginny!)

My best advice is to speak up about your ideas for change in your community and soak up everything you can learn from thought leaders (shout out to my sister friend, Lori Hart!), events, family, and fellow sisters + friends.

You CAN turn your biggest dreams and ideas for your community into a reality. CCWL keeps you surrounded with others who also believe in positive change – take advantage of that!

Fraternally,

Danielle Kushner – Alpha Omicron Pi