First-Year Leadership Scholar Program (FLSP) is a club for all first-year and transfer students that takes place over two semesters and aims to guide students to learn leadership skills and get diversity training to prepare them for future careers.
Students involved get assigned a cohort that meets each week to learn about different topics and partake in different activities. Each cohort is led by two peer mentors who have completed the program.
“We do everything from learning about leadership theories and business professionalism, to doing personality tests and going on scavenger hunts, to going to diversity and cultural events,” FLSP student Samantha Ricketts said.
“This semester, we get to do a project to help the campus and community in small groups. My group is doing a bake sale for the new library they are building in town and other groups are doing things like promoting public health on campus,” Ricketts said.
“I am so glad I joined because I learned a lot, made friends and found out that leadership skills are going to be important in everyone’s life, even mine as an actuarial science major,” Ricketts said.
Kyla Calhoun, a senior exercise science pre-PT major, is a first-year peer mentor and is glad she joined FLSP to broaden her horizons as a college student.
“When I came to SRU, I only knew one person on campus. I didn’t know anyone or my professors and I felt very isolated and lonely. When I heard about FLSP, I thought that learning about leadership would be a good experience,” Calhoun said.
“Not only did I get educational experiences, but I was able to make some friends. I even met my best friend in FLSP,” Calhoun said. “I learned that not everyone’s going to be like me. One of my favorite activities was the color personality tests. This showed us what kind of leaders we are and how to work with all different kinds of people.”
Alex Rizzuto is one of the two FLSP gradute students who helps to set up curriculum, syllabi, social media and marketing.
“As a freshman, I wasn’t even in FLSP. I wasn’t involved at all my freshman year. Then, my sophomore year I did a service event at the veterans hospital and got involved in care breaks,” Rizzuto said. “I ultimately got hired as a coordinator.”
“I think, when you come to college, you don’t know how much is out there. In high school, all you have to do is go to class. Then you come to college and it’s a world of freedom and you might not be sure what you’re doing or what’s out there,” Rizzuto said.
“I think FLSP is great because it introduces you to everything and gives you the full potential of the college experience and that college life. We hope to teach leadership and conflict resolution, new ways of thinking and we get you out of your comfort zone a little bit,” Rizzutto said.
Sophomore biology major Victoria Pasquale is another peer mentor.
“FLSP is probably the easiest club to get involved in and you build a lot of skills. As a student, I learned how to get involved and what qualities leaders possess,” Pasquale said. “I use these skills now as a peer mentor.”
“FLSP is one of the greatest things to get involved in. It is open to every first-year student. You’re in a cohort with diverse people and it is a great way to branch out and meet new kinds of people,” Pasquale said.
Overall, FLSP gives students opportunities to grow as a student over two semesters and use newly-learned skills to make a difference on campus. It provides career advice and diversity training.
“Whether you come to SRU with 30 other students from your high school or you know no one, you should not pass up any opportunities on campus. In almost every career out there, you are going to have to show that you have leadership skills,” Calhoun said.