Building 65, Room 217
Bldg. 65, Room 217
The Center for Leadership is one of four centers that falls under the department of Leadership & Service at Cal Poly. You can explore our other centers through the links provided to the right.
Peer Leaders play a central and critical role in the Center for Leadership and have since our center was started in 2015. Cal Poly students are why our professional staff come to work everyday and we cannot thank them enough for the roles they play in our Center and on our campus. We want to recognize the legacy our Peer Leaders have created within our Center and across campus. Additionally, for students who are finding their path, voice, and passions at Cal Poly - know that you are building on a strong foundation of leaders, followers, activists, and more who have come before you.
I first became involved with the Center for Leadership during my freshman year at Cal Poly through the Emerging Leaders Series. ELS was the first time that I had discussed, and even thought about, most of the content that the series teaches. ELS changed the way that I thought about the world around me, which, in my opinion, epitomizes the purpose of seeking a higher education. Because of this, I knew that I had to be a part of the Center for Leadership as a Peer Leader. My time as a Peer Leader taught me how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. It taught me to embrace ambiguity and the unknown. It made me realize that the times in which you grow the fastest as an individual are the times that you are facilitating the growth of others. The Center for Leadership was an integral part of my time at Cal Poly, and I will always cherish it for what it has contributed to my college experience
I have always viewed the Center for Leadership as a backbone for everything that I do at Cal Poly. What I learn at the Center, I take with me and ingrain into my on-campus involvement. Whether that be sharing my personal leadership philosophy that I developed through the Emerging Leaders Series with my work colleagues at Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), or having a discussion about strengths in a business class, I take what I learn from the Center for Leadership and share the love to everyone interact with. With a growth mindset, I will continue to take what I learn at the Center and apply it to life. After 3.5 years being with the Center for Leadership, I am excited to take what I learned beyond Cal Poly.
I view the Center for Leadership as a forum. The Center is a place where anyone can bring concerns and ideas and have them empathically affirmed, respectively challenged, or meaningfully resolved. My experience as a Peer Leader provides me with a deeper understanding of the complex identities with which people perceive and engage with the world. This position is a major influencer on the way I approach and navigate my academic, personal, and professional relationships. I am happy that my eager, freshman attitude emboldened me to walk into UU Room 217L almost three and a half years ago. I can genuinely say that the Center for Leadership and those involved with it are drivers of growth and happiness in my life. I am excited for it grow and continue to impact other students after I a graduate.
When I took ELS my first year, I immediately wanted to become involved in the Center, mainly because one of the incredible peer leaders that was co-facilitating. I immediately felt welcomed by the entire staff that worked in the Center, and found an opportunity to dedicate myself to a collaborative, supportive, and growth minded team. Being a part of the Center for Leadership helped me to develop my skills in public speaking and has increased my comfort in navigating and facilitating conversations around identity and controversy with civility. All my experiences participating with this amazing group of people to create a space of learning and growth has allowed me to have much more confidence in professional settings. I am so immensely grateful for all the laughs, love, and moments of inspiration that I’ve been able to have as a Peer Leader.
By being a part of the Center for Leadership, I was able to grow as a person and leader. The Center provided me a safe place where I could be myself and speak my thoughts. Everyone in the Center is so welcoming and friendly, and we are a little leadership family that is always there to support each other. I am so thankful to have all the staff and peer leaders from the Center for Leadership in my life because they have all supported me and been there for me in one way or another. I am extremely grateful that I was able to be part of this wonderful leadership family for the last two years of college!
Leadership has influenced many of my life experiences at home, at school, and even within my social circles. I’m thankful that I stumbled upon the Center for Leadership because they have helped me see leadership though new lenses. Completing the Emerging Leaders Series added a new level of meaning to what “leadership” and “being a leader” truly means. Additionally, I appreciate that the Center offers a space to talk about meaningful topics. Having valuable discussions and challenging myself to explore different levels of leadership has helped me grow to become more progressive-minded and aware of my skills and environment. Being involved with the Center motivates me to share similar experiences with other students across campus so that we all can grow and lead together.
For me, the Center for Leadership was a place of unconditional acceptance for my growth as an individual, peer and friend. Over the last four years, the Center has been a rock of support, encouraging me in the ups and downs in life. My experience has allowed me to embrace and embody authenticity, vulnerability and resiliency. Everday is an opportunity to cultivate our own style of leadership through incorporating our intersectional identities. I am so grateful I became a part of this invaluable team- the Peer Leader experience is priceless
I was first introduced to the Center for Leadership through the Emerging Leaders Program, and since then, I have been in love with the Center. ELS not only shattered and rebuilt my perceptions of what leadership is, but it also helped me gain more confidence in myself and what I could accomplish as a leader. The best people I have met on this campus have come from the Center, where the Peer Leaders overflow with compassion, authenticity, and a drive to bring good to this world. The Center for Leadership has been the foundation for all my work at Cal Poly. The Center—with its Peer Leaders and ProStaff—taught me to take pride in who I am and how I lead. I would not be in any of my leadership involvements now without the Center challenging me to grow in ways I never thought I could. Being involved in such an amazing organization has been the highlight of my college career, and it will always be a time I can look back on with a grateful heart.
When I got involved with the Center for Leadership, it was in the first ever offered Emerging Leaders Series during my first quarter at Cal Poly. I fell in love with the content covered in the series, and the genuine kindness and encouragement I received from folks already involved with the Center. As a first year, I had been searching for a place on campus to be a true home for me, and as soon as I began to learn more about the Center’s values and roles in facilitating leadership education for students, I knew it was exactly where I belonged. Being a Peer Leader in the Center for Leadership has allowed me to better understand who I am as a leader and human being, and how the things I do, think, and say have the potential to greatly impact those around me. Thanks to my work in the Center, I have recognized my passions for interpersonal connections, empathy, and helping others to better develop themselves to achieve their own goals, all of which has informed my future career goals. Ultimately, my Cal Poly experience would be incomplete without the Center for Leadership. No matter how students begin connecting with the Center, I know that every one of them will come away with a greater sense of self understanding, human connection, and efficacy to be the change they want to see on our campus and in the world.
I view the Center for Leadership as my launchpad for everything I am involved with in Cal Poly. Through facilitating the Emerging Leader Series, I get to create peer to peer contact with other students while debunking leadership myths. Even though I am the one facilitating these sessions, at the end of the series, I always end up learning and gaining new perspectives on a variety of topics, ranging from vulnerability, to social identities, and more. The Center has allowed me to grow in a multitude of ways, from inter and intra personal development, to my ability to empathize with others. By incorporating what I have learned from being a part of the Center, I get to consistently develop who I am and how I want to leave my mark on the world.
Erick S. Gomez
Erick S. Gomez