Meet Onyekachim Amauwah (PhD.), our second alumni spotlight for June! She is a graduate of Collins Hill High School (2009), of Georgia State University and of Hampton University (2019). Onyekachim says that 21CL gave her skills that made her a leader who leaves room for others to shine! 

Paint a brief picture of what you are doing now.

I recently graduated from Hampton University with my doctorate degree in physical therapy.  My life has wholly been that of a full time graduate student, so I’m slowly re-entering “regular” daily life including getting involved in community service activities, looking to moving out of state to begin practicing and finding work/life balance.

How did participating in 21CL transform you and lead you to where you are now?

21 Century Leaders helped me refine my thought process on leadership. It’s not about being the most boisterous or only using my plan, but about using a team approach and listening to the ideas of others. It taught me how to work with people from different backgrounds and ethnic groups, while working for the greater good.

How did 21CL prepare you for your next steps? Going into college and taking on leadership roles, heading into a new era of professionalism, etc. What skills/tools/perspectives have helped you along the way?

The program helped me feel more confident with my interview process and getting into undergrad. I also used that confidence at work.

What was a memorable or ‘aha’ moment in 21CL? (Particular program, meeting a professional and diverse peers, speaking in public for the first time, etc.?)

I attended the winter leadership summit almost 10 years ago and I don’t remember a specific ‘aha’ moment but the whole summit was inspirational.

Did 21CL assist you in developing a leadership style that makes you an effective leader? if so how? And have you recently learned something else about leadership? Please share!

21CL was a catalyst to my success in leadership roles, something I didn’t realize until much later. Interacting with people from different backgrounds,  preparing and delivering an elevator speech, were some of the important skills I learned. Now that I am preparing to enter my career I am going to put to good use these skills acquired and refined over the years and continue to be a leader that leaves room for others to shine. A leader does not have to be the focal point of a gathering!