News Post

Engage Member Champions the Core Value of Leadership
Pia Lauder

July/August Core Value Highlight: LEADERSHIP

Graduation is a time to celebrate and reflect on what has brought our graduates to this momentous occasion that would not have been possible without the daily practice of the core value of Leadership. Engage member Sam, a recent graduate, and his former Program Counselor, Steph Foulkes, reflect on their journey from then to now, emphasizing the importance of leadership.

Admissions Manager Steph Foulkes and Engage Member Sam in a photo collage celebrating each other's growth since Sam's graduation in 2017, pictured on the left.

Strong leadership equips our students, members and Vista community to achieve personal success. During Steph's ten-year tenure at Vista, she has transitioned from Program Counselor to Admissions Manager. She thinks back on the past decade, stating, “When I see my former students thriving in their adult lives, I feel immensely proud of their accomplishments. I am fulfilled every day knowing that our guidance and support helped them achieve things that many people may have thought were not possible. Their success is leadership in practice, and it’s humbling, to say the least! The most powerful moments are when I see our students and members impart their wisdom upon new students or new graduates. One of my favorite moments was watching Sam as a recent graduate welcome new graduates to the community at one of our recent ceremonies. In Admissions, I have the treat of witnessing that magic practically every day.”

 At last year's graduation ceremony, Engage Member Sam welcomes the Class of 2021.

Steph and Sam celebrate and reflect on their time together during their reunion. "By practicing leadership, I am able to advocate for myself and others, "Sam says of his development from the Discover to Engage Program." Sam continues, “It has also enabled me to achieve so much, such as meaningful friendships, trying new activities and hobbies, and even gaining successful employment!”

Engage Member Sam at his place of work at Whelen Engineering.

Steph adds, “I believe that leadership, and more specifically mentorship, is the most impactful way to support someone’s success in work and in life. That relationship, that human connection, is very special. I cherish it as I feel it’s the only way we really live beyond ourselves and create a truly caring community. This is built into the teaching model at Vista, and I think many people see and feel that instantly when they visit us. I personally have had the opportunity to have excellent mentors here at Vista. They help me become more confident in my expertise and my ability to lead my colleagues, students and members, and the broader community. The leadership that the students and members demonstrate each and every day reminds me to be courageous and step outside my comfort zone; change doesn’t come without discomfort. For many of them, leading, presenting, or making themselves seen is anxiety-provoking and scary, so it is an amazing thing to see when it happens!”

Leadership provides the opportunity to truly inspire and impact others, as evidenced by the lives of our students, members, and staff. For our next blog feature, we'll spotlight our first graduate, highlighting how the Class of 2022 champions the core value of Leadership.

More to come...