Hailey Unger - Frostburg State University
"It is our privilege to have Hailey as a student leader on the campus of Frostburg State University...it is easy to see that [she] is a leader that dedicates her time and efforts to her communities and helping others...As a young adult, her supervisors and mentors say that her passion for others and her willingness to jump in and do what she can to make a difference stand out in Ms. Unger...I have no doubt that Hailey will enhance the experiences of other [fellows], excel in her civic and social journey, and benefit from exposure to strategies for social change."
Dr. Ronald Nowaczyk
President, Frostburg State University
There are so many aspects of being a leader. Many that I didn’t understand until I realized that I was one. The dedication, time commitment, and the privilege of leading others to a common goal can be overwhelming, but at the same time, exciting. I have learned many lessons as a leader, the most important one is that there isn't a “perfect leader”. As a member in the Ameri-Corps program ECHOSTARS, this became even more apparent. Serving in Allegany County, Maryland has been my main focus due to being raised there and experiencing the school systems and the society first-hand. This area needs understanding and kind leaders in order to help the issues it faces. Using judgment and hostility won’t get you very far as an effective leader. I have found along the way that being a leader isn’t merely about everyone liking you or understanding you, but in turn that they trust you and know that you will treat everyone equally and with kindness. In our society, people tend to tear each other down consistently and this can leave others feeling hopeless and worthless, which contributes to some of the issues this area faces. Whereas, being a leader is giving others the hope, encouragement, and motivation to see the common goal and want to obtain it. Being a “perfect leader” has nothing to do with knowing how to handle every situation, but has everything to do with how you empower people and treat them. Having the chance to help others and start an initiative to do so is one of the most amazing things that anyone can do, but you can only reach those goals with the people who are around you. Compassion, honesty, and kindness are a few of the essential qualities of a good leader.
2023-2024 Transform Mid-Atlantic Civic Fellow