The BOLD Summer Leadership Academy
The BOLD Center at Douglass for Leadership, Career, and Personal Development is committed to helping students adjust to the circumstances of the pandemic so that they can continue to reach their professional and personal goals. While BOLD staff continue to work with students to transform internships and externships into remote opportunities, many students inevitably had their summer plans canceled due to the pandemic. In the absence of previously scheduled internships, externships, research positions, and summer jobs, many students are without an academic or professional experience to fill their summers.
“Upon the spring 2020 semester becoming virtual, I was unable to attend a Summer in Paris opportunity, a Public Health and Medical Global Brigade in Greece, and many of the other professional opportunities I was pursuing,” said Ngozi Okafor DRC'21, a public health major with a concentration in health disparities and a French minor. “Determined to make my time during the stay-at-home order fruitful, I sought virtual opportunities that would enable me to refine the skills I possess as well as adopt new ones.”
To proactively answer the call for programming from ambitious students like Ngozi, The BOLD Center created the BOLD Summer Leadership Academy. The BOLD Summer Leadership Academy is a structured series of webinars, modules, and other forms of online programming that teach valuable professional competencies. Topics include remote interview strategies, internship searches, networking etiquette, managing transitions, LGBTQ+ issues in the classroom, and more. At the end of the program, students will receive a certificate verifying their mastery of these essential skills.
So far, Ngozi has attended the Flash Poetry Workshop; the Summer Upskilling Webinar; and the Thriving in Turbulent Times Alumnae Panel, which connected Douglass students with alumnae who graduated during the last recession.
“The program has been a really useful resource in obtaining tangible credentials for the skills I've acquired throughout my experiences as an undergraduate and student organization leader,” said Ngozi.
Beyond career advancement, the program also seeks to discuss what it means to be a courageous leader through challenging times, and offers a space to dialogue about recent calls for social justice.
“The events have each facilitated open discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement,” said Ngozi. “Shedding light on the protests, and combining those dialogues with topics of leadership, has eased my concern of being vocal about issues I am passionate about while in a leadership role or in a professional setting.”
For Ngozi, the events have been a way to stay connected to the College while in a remote environment.
“Maintaining contact with Douglass over the summer has reinforced a sense of community and accountability,” said Ngozi. “In a sense, staying in touch with Douglass has also promoted optimal mental health, as these programs offer a time to disconnect from the demands of work and life. I can really focus on what I can do in the present to achieve my goals in the future.”
The BOLD Summer Leadership Academy will be holding programming throughout the remainder of the summer. Click here to learn more about the BOLD Center.