KILN Scholar Jennifer Etienn waves Haiti flag to start the 5k

On October 22, 2011 the event “Boston College Runs for Haiti-5K” took place on BC campus.  The event was organized by the group traveling to Haiti to provide service and medical relief.  The group traveling to Haiti includes about 11 undergraduates, nurse practitioner students, nurse practitioners, faculty, nursing staff from various hospitals, and me.  This specific event was a 5K run around BC campus to fundraiser money for medical supplies that will solely be provided for the people of Haiti.  The event began in O’Neil plaza and included raffles, Haitian music, and refreshments.  Goodie bags and T-shirts were given to the runners who participated in the 5K race.  It was amazing to see how many people came together to support this effort for Haiti. The race was run by people of all ages including an elderly couple and a mother who ran with her infant in a stroller.  There were also many volunteers who helped make the event a success including Boston College’s Haitian Association and the students at Nativity Prep.  My favorite part of the event was cheering on the runners and waving the Haitian flag not only because I know I am working for a greater cause but because, as a Haitian American, I had great pride knowing that I was doing something that would aid my country.

As one of the main people organizing this event I took on numerous leadership roles.  These included contacting people/organizations for donations, attending meetings to plan and designate tasks, publicizing the event, and collaborating with the Haitian Association.  Performing these roles required initiative, patience, assertiveness, and teamwork.  It was stressful being in charge because as a leader you are held accountable for many things including making sure tasks are completed and  people cooperate with one another, as well as developing an alternative plan in case something goes wrong.  Being a leader taught me a lot about myself and about working with other people.  I realized that I had to be an active listener and encourage the people on my team to carry out their roles which would contribute to making the 5k run a success.  Though I have held many leadership roles in the past, having a leadership role for the 5K run was more challenging because I was not only working with peers but also with administrative staff, external organizations, and people who held authoritative roles at BC.

Taking on numerous roles for the 5K run better prepared me for becoming a future nurse since nurses hold several leadership roles as well.  Nurses are part of a collaborative team that works to ensure that the patients they serve receive the best care.  They are responsible for the patient and communicating with various individuals from family members to doctors.  It is important that nurses know how to communicate well, be professional, be patient, teach, and take initiative.  From holding several leadership positions including helping to organize the 5K event, I feel that I am better prepared to take on the many roles that nurses encompass.