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Community leaders share leadership tips with Blinn College students

McDonald, Whitehead, and Hill discuss leadership with student government leaders at Blinn-Schulenburg

October 27, 2017

Student leaders from 10 Texas community colleges recently visited the Blinn College-Schulenburg Campus for the Texas Junior College Student Government Association (TJCSGA) Region IV Conference, where they received leadership tips from three community leaders.

Ronnie McDonald, the Executive Director of Community Relations and Strategic Partnerships for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service; Janice Whitehead, the Mayor of the City of Sealy; and Thaddaus Hill, Blinn College Government Professor, each gave presentations regarding leadership. Ten of the junior colleges that make up the TJCSGA Region IV were in attendance, including the four Blinn College campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg, and Sealy.

Tristain Mathews, Courtney Herrera, Ronnie McDonald, Carli Pritchard, and Christian Pharr

From left: Tristain Mathews, Courtney Herrera, Ronnie McDonald, Carli Pritchard, and Christian Pharr


“I really hope these students understand the value that they have,” McDonald said. “I want the students to understand they are important, they can go out and change the community, and they will go out and change the community.”

McDonald focused on three steps that he broke down into “I am, I can, and I will.” First, he encouraged students to find their value because becoming a better leader involves understanding who you are. Then, he told students that as leaders they can make a difference. Last, he encouraged students to accept that challenge and take action.

“If we can spark something in them so that they can go out and say, ‘I have value, and I am going to go out and affect the community around me and affect the individuals around me,’ then we are successful,” McDonald said.

Madison Meyer, Janice Whitehead, and Grace-Anne Matocha

From left: Madison Meyer, Janice Whitehead, and Grace-Anne Matocha


Whitehead emphasized how leadership and teamwork tie together.

“One of the things that hit me as being very special about being a public office is the fact that you have a chance to build a positive effective team,” she said.

Whitehead had students work together on a problem-solving activity in groups to exemplify that teamwork leads to solutions.

“I hope that they take away the fact that you never know who you are working with, but you have to find ways to compromise, work together, and make the situation work no matter how difficult that situation might be,” she said.

Thad Hill, Carli Pritchard, Taylor Carter, Courtney Herrera, and Christian Pharr

From left: Thad Hill, Carli Pritchard, Taylor Carter, Courtney Herrera, and Christian Pharr


Hill ended the day with a presentation emphasizing leadership and humility, including several examples of past and present leaders.

“Leadership is best with humility; without humility, your leadership is gone,” Hill said. “If you stress the Plato quote, ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle,” as a leader then it brings you down to a level where you can make a difference.”