LAUNCH summit offers underclassmen the opportunity enhance their leadership skills

LAUNCH Leadership Team. Pictured from left to right: Angela Ansah '25, Anita Perera '26, Garrett Eisenhuth '27, Arianna Helmer '27, Fernando Sepulveda Sagaseta '27 and Ziara Pichardo '27 Photo credit: LAUNCH Leadership Team

The LAUNCH summit is created to acclimate underclassmen to on campus leadership. It is mainly targeted at freshmen and it teaches them how to create their own organization and run it smoothly.

The summit, run by the University of Miami’s student government and First Year Leadership Council, will be taking place on campus this Sunday, Feb. 18

As described in their mission statement, LAUNCH aims to, “push underclassmen to become leaders on campus and in their own lives … while creating an interactive experience that forms community building, student outreach and confidence building starting in freshman year.”

The summit will consist of five different workshops focusing on a different aspect of leadership and organization building. Each workshop will feature a presentation from an on-campus organization, such as Hurricane Productions, who will teach underclassmen a key aspect of leadership and organization building like conflict resolution.

While the LAUNCH Summit is a great opportunity to get a foot in the door with leadership on campus, it is also a chance to develop individual skills and make valuable connections.

Arianna Helmer, a freshman on the FLC, was part of the team that set-up the LAUNCH summit.

While the summit will give students an advantage when joining or creating their own student organization, she also made sure to emphasize the individual benefits.

“You’re able to learn a lot of skills like entrepreneurship, funding, marketing yourself and conflict resolution,” Helmer said. “It’s a platform for students to make connections with other students with similar interests in leadership or getting involved on campus”

Garrett Eisenhuth is another member of FLC that worked to set up the LAUNCH summit, who remarked about how most students rarely get an opportunity like this.

“It’s not common where you have this many leaders on campus coming together and giving their knowledge to young leaders on campus,” Eisenhuth said “Usually you’ll have a president of a club here and another president there, but they don’t come together into one form like this often.”

Angela Ansah, student government vice president and member of the LAUNCH team, emphasizes the importance of making connections with fellow peers and getting to know the leaders of popular organizations on campus.

“Sometimes, I feel like leadership can be a very small circle. You see the same people on eboards of organizations that are chairs of committees or part of the President’s 100. So if you miss that opportunity freshman year, it’s hard to get it when you’re a sophomore or a junior,”Ansah said. “This is a really great compact opportunity. This summit teaches students skills that organizations on campus spend weeks teaching their members.”

The LAUNCH Leadership Summit will take place on Feb. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Shalala Student Center Complex .

All students are invited and freshmen are encouraged to attend. The workshops are listed on the sign up form and students can sign up here.