"Goodbye FOAP” Banquet Speech I can't tell you how difficult it is to describe how sad I am for my Orientation Team Leader experience to be ending. When I was hired so many months ago, I never would have realized how connected I would become to such a funny, energetic, and warm community of people. Many times I have been awestruck by the hard work and dedication exemplified by the entire Experience LSU staff and by the efforts made by other on-campus departments and communities that make our program possible. When I look back on my time here as a staff member, I will remember the many invaluable lessons I’ve learned from this office and its employees. To list a few: • There’s no elevator to success. You have to climb the stairs. However, the people you meet along the way will lift you up just the same. • Life and its many wonderful experiences are short, but your khakis should never be. • Sometimes the unexpected has a way of sneaking up on you, like a parent in a scheduling room, but it’s the attitude you choose when faced with adversity (and helicopter parents) that make all the difference. I had so many reasons why I wanted to apply for this position. The most compelling, and one thing I loved the most about this job, is its potential to impact our campus, its surrounding community, and subsequently the world. This job and this program are like no other, because we wake up everyday with a mission to be a powerful force for good. We wake up everyday and strive to make the places and people we encounter that day better than when we first found them. Maya Angelou once said, “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all.” Being here today, to see you all here in front of me, the last time all together, is something I will treasure for a very long time, because my heroes surround me and I have the privilege to also call them my friends. Before wrapping up, I would like to take a moment to give a special thanks to some of those people who have helped me the most on this long journey. Kelli Webber: Kelli Webber has always been someone that I’ve greatly admired, since first becoming an LSU Ambassador. Embarrassingly enough, until I got this job I was far too nervous to talk to her. However, I’m glad she took a risk on someone she barely knew and picked me. In the short time I have known you, Kelli Webber I’ve learned so much about the friend, the leader, and the woman I want to be. You embody the message “lead by example.” Your compassion for your students, your ability to empathize with them,
ability to challenge them, and ability to call them out when we need it is truly amazing. You’ve done so much for LSU, my team, and me. I will never be able to repay for all that you’ve given to me. It seems like we were stuck in a waiting place for quite some time, but we did it! Now you’ve got a whole new adventure ahead of you. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way. We’ll always be here to root you on. My OLs: My ohana, my sweet sixteen, my OLs. Wow. I don’t think any of us knew what exactly we were getting into when we started this journey, but I can’t image sixteen more exceptional people to go through this experience with. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve gotten a little too loud in Blake Hall, but we’ve made some extraordinary memories. I hope you all met every goal you set for yourself this summer, both personally and professionally. If not, I hope you continue to empower and encourage each other as you keep working towards them. This experience is a unique one, because when you leave this place, you will only have 16 other individuals who understand it. We have no idea where life will take us, but remember that we will always have one other and this one summer. Ohana means family, and family means no gets left behind- or forgotten. Jasmine, Alyssa, POLs and PFP: The other amazing half of this operation. Thank you so much. Getting to work alongside y’all during spring training and summer sessions, has been a privilege. My OLs and I could not have done this without y’alls love, support, or your golf cart. Ms. Telisha, Troi, and the Student Worker Staff: Y’all are what keep this operation running and I wish I could emphasize the importance of y’alls job to the ENTIRE world. Thank you for taking every call and every request for missing nametags, exam sheets, and placement profiles that I’ve made. Because of you all, these students had a better and easier orientation experience. Today I woke up in my new reality, one with no number signs to pass out, no ballroom to set up, and no spreadsheets to make. My new reality is full of yet-to-be realized opportunities. So... until the next time we gather, goodbye, good luck, and thank you.