The Leading Minds First-Year Ephventure program is a mid-orientation program dedicated to the development and cultivation of the next cohort of student leaders here at Williams College. Through a program loosely framed around the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, and focused on self-awareness, group interaction, community service, and resource mapping, students engage with one another and the broader Williams/Berkshire community for a full 3-day emersion program.
Initially students are introduced to one another, their leaders, and themselves through self-presentations and workshops around realization of personal strengths. Team building through fun local activities like bowling, scavenger hunts, and lawn games inject a dose of community building while students also learn about conversations around diversity, public speaking skills, and various leadership styles that they can work with themselves. Introducing the students to both peer leaders and key college administrators provides them an opportunity to discover resources that will be an integral key to their success as emerging leaders themselves.
A community service project in the local area, followed by a full day and overnight at a local YMCA camp offers up direct engagement with the surrounding area and a capstone experience that indelibly fuses together their group of “Mindlings” together before launching into their first semester as Williams students. Students are empowered to take chances, lead in their own rite, and make a lasting and positive impact upon their communities going forward.