Applications are now being accepted for a diverse group of students interested in being leaders and mentors for their peers during the University of Mississippi’s next MPower conference.
There are 20 open positions for peer leaders who will work with the assistant director of leadership programming, one graduate assistant, and two student coordinators, according to the Ole Miss Student Union website. Applications are due by Nov. 3.
MPower, a four-day conference for incoming freshman, is framed around four learning goals — self-awareness, leadership knowledge and application, community development, and social responsibility — while emphasizing the tenants of the UM creed.
Haley Anderson, assistant director of leadership programming with the Office of Leadership and Advocacy, helped make MPower 2019 possible. This was not her first time working with a leadership program. She was a graduate assistant for Safari, a leadership conference at the University of Central Michigan. She brought ideas from Safari to MPower.
“You are voluntary member of this community,” Anderson said, “and because you made this awesome choice, you want to hold yourself and one another accountable. The way we go about learning about the creed is by showing them what it looks like instead of just reading over it.”
In July, 57 incoming freshman attended the conference inside the Student Union. MPower prepares incoming first year students to understand the history of UM and become responsible community members.
Freshman participant Alexis Newendyke from Batavia, Illinois participated. Coming from out of state, Newendyke said it was important to begin networking early.
“I wanted to meet new people before I came to school here,” she said, “and hopefully with the leadership skills I learned during MPower, it would help me get more acclimated and network throughout my freshman year.”
Newendyke said she did not know she would meet some of her closest friends while gaining a better understanding of herself when she applied.
“MPower, for me, was one big happy family,” Newendyke said. “We all, including our leaders, learned from one another, and the whole conference was very impactful.”
That is what Anderson wants incoming freshmen to gain from MPower.
“I want participants to walk away from MPower knowing themselves better,” she said, “and having made connections with people who are different than them, and feel affirmed in being here at the University of Mississippi was the right choice.”
Anderson said the conference helps build the community. “MPower has a really unique special community atmosphere, and I’m excited to see how that grows,” she said, adding that the five-year plan for MPower is to make it a university-wide organization.
“MPower is not mine or this department’s to own,” she said. “I think that we plan to have this program reach out and propel it to the next step.”
For more information about MPower, or to fill out an application to become a conference leader, visit this link.