The Nelson Leadership Institute (NLI) held its inaugural program, PIVOT, in Lakeland, Florida during the week of March 12, 2017. PIVOT was inspired by the NLI’s mission to empower, develop and affirm undergraduate members as they become ethical mission-driven leaders of influence. Undergraduate attendees opted to use their academic spring break for this program.
PIVOT participants included 48 undergraduate Phi Kappa Psi members that were accompanied by 26 alumni members, providing for a one to two ratio of undergraduates to alumni. The alumni presence was a crucial component to the success of the inaugural PIVOT experience and strong alumni presence is integral to the program’s overall impact on undergraduate leaders.
Phi Kappa Psi Foundation Chairman Fred Hegele participated in the program, and afterwards said, “PIVOT was designed to strengthen the character and deepen the integrity of our undergraduate brothers in an environment where lifelong bonds can be solidified with undergraduates and alumni.”
Program participants heard from industry leaders and were able to connect with them in an atmosphere that allowed one on one interaction. Small group breakouts, called PIVOT Groups, created an arena for undergraduates to interact with alumni after each large group session and gain takeaways on how parts of each presentation could be internalized and implemented in their own life. The PIVOT Groups quickly bonded after completing a challenge course on day two of the program.
PIVOT attendees partnered with the Salvation Army for a day of service, including projects such as repainting all of the area’s “Red Kettles”, organizing a warehouse and repairing a Parade float. Also included in the week was keynote speaker Marcus Luttrell, the “Lone Survivor”, who shared his life experiences and offered words of advice to alumni and undergraduates alike.
The PIVOT experience extends beyond the intense week of the onsite program. Participants and alumni are engaged through technology and ongoing interactions designed to root the takeaways from the program in the daily habits and activities of those that are past PIVOT participants.
The NLI is now developing its PIVOT program for Spring 2018 and will be releasing dates shortly.