Galicia Gordon discussed her work with Leading Learners, and gave her thoughts on how she was able to start building the initiative at 16 years old. Galicia Gordon’s experience with launching and developing Leading Learners became an amazing conversation to kick off this month’s theme of clarity and new possibilities for creating change.
The initiative, based in Vancouver, CA, works to connect students with free resources, scholarships, and tools to empower ownership over their education journey. Galicia felt a one-stop platform for students and all freely accessible resources would serve students well during their academic years. She shared about “being able to build bridges for people when you do see a problem.”
Deciding what to do after completing high school is a concern for a majority of youth, especially with the current education system. Galicia explained how she found a trend of young people not knowing what they would do to connect their interest to the real world after high school. In fact, she discovered that many students were not sure of their own real interests, and they described schooling as a “constant loop of just completing assignments”. From here, Galicia began talking to more and more people, including educators, which led to launching a website with free resources.
Sharing the initiative’s mission, and creating dialogue among the community created a great boost in awareness around this concern. Once the awareness of the concern was uncovered, the initiative grew into one of empowerment. Leading Learners typically includes tips to help drive personal education forward. Galicia recalled that “… [Leading Learners] also thought about making student focused programs and events.” The initiative hosts opportunities for students to learn about each other, learn about other students who successfully improved, and speak with professionals with experiences of starting an initiative at a younger age.
Galicia talked on what can help students that are more shy about creating change. Leading Learners is a great example that people don’t need years of experience to make a new change, or to start making a change. Galicia tapped into a point of having students that have made an impact in Leading Learners conversations. Seeing someone similar, and living boldly, can be the source of inspiration that pushes students aspiring to create impact towards gaining self-confidence and higher self-efficacy.
During the past year, with the pandemic, checking-in with students became a priority. Galicia shared how she dealt with the Leading Learners team, as well as insight into viewing the time as “isolation” or “downtime” changes the way people approach the moment. Galicia emphasized that she enjoys how Leading Learners is capable of helping students as they explore, even if the students live in a different country.
Wrapping up, Galicia shared that patience and market research are two lessons she suggests to anyone thinking of starting an initiative. Her thoughts uncover a balance of being committed, having preparation, and taking a leap.