AISES Leadership Summit

As a member of the American Indian Science Engineering Society (AISES), Alicia Jacobs was invited to attend its Leadership Summit in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico from March 20-23.

The goals of the event were to bring together business professionals and students to collaborate on leadership efforts across Indian Country.  During the summit, she attended sessions on mentorship, how to be an effective leader, and mentoring up.  These sessions were valuable to the work she does as a student and professional at the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Alicia also had the opportunity to work closely with several professionals who will be great resources for upcoming training sessions she has planned for the mentors working with the Jones-Bowman Leadership Award Program.

Alicia had an opportunity to meet with AISES CEO, Sarah EchoHawk to discuss the planning grant AISES has with the Foundation.  Kelsey Owle, a former Jones-Bowman graduate and now mentor, also attended this meeting, as she will be the contact at the Cherokee Central Schools as the local AISES Chapter is re-established.

This was Kelsey’s first time attending the summit. She soon realized that she and Alicia were the only two people, besides the Region 7 representative, from the western North Carolina region, reinforcing her goal to reintroduce AISES back into the Cherokee Central School system and provide students with opportunities in the STEM field. Kelsey is beginning an AISES chapter on the Qualla Boundary which will be beneficial for students.

For Alicia, the summit experience is instrumental in the work she continues to do with the young leaders in Jones-Bowman. Because there has to be value within the relationships between the fellows and mentors, she is seeking new ways to match them up and provide skills training to the mentors. During a working session lead by Rick Stephens, who is retired from Boeing, he shared a quote that will continue to be a guide for Alicia.  When asked how his tribe deals with the struggles of entitlement, he said, “In order to predict the future, you have to create it.”  Alicia plans to continue leading these students in a way that encourages them to never stop creating the future.

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