Want to be an Ignite OC?

The due date for applications to be an Ignite OC are fast approaching!

To get a better idea of what it takes to be one, I interviewed Elias Garcia, a former Ignite OC and a Changemaker Institute fellow for CELT-SI, and he shared what he believes are the three personal characteristics that an Ignite OC should possess:

1) Flexible – Throughout a lot of the program, OC’s are on their own without any form of supervision. It’s important that OC’s are able to handle when things go awry, such as a sudden rainstorm when you’re doing an outside scavenger hunt, or when your transportation runs a few hours late.

2) Approachable – This experience is the first real college experience for many of the participating students, and marks in their eyes when they are officially college students, as they move into their dorms, make friends, and the like. Understanding that many of the new students will be nervous and uncomfortable is a given, and OC’s have to make sure that they can be a friend to all in this process!

3) Dedicated – Being an OC isn’t easy. There’s a ton of behind-the-scenes work, and it’s important to remember that an OC puts the student’s experiences before their own.  Making sure that all of your group is having a great time is #1, and can result in some sacrifices in sleep, food, or anything that may come up.

Some advice from Elias to keep in mind…

Something I wish I had been more prepared for was transportation constantly running late. It definitely wasn’t the fault of the transportation workers- they run on a crazy schedule and could definitely use some more helping hands, but it was still difficult to work around. For example, if your transportation is late, you could miss an entire activity, a lunch reservation for your group, or, alternatively, could get stuck in traffic. In retrospect, it would have definitely been helpful to have some backup activities planned, or alternate places to eat or hang out.

What was Elias’ favorite part of being an Ignite OC?

My favorite part of the experience was going kayaking with my group, and learning about coastal wetland loss in Louisiana. It was awesome to show my group some of the beautiful wetland that Louisiana has, and then hear from some community organizers who were fighting against the loss of these wetlands. I think it was eye-opening for everyone, but especially the first year students as they learned about some of Louisiana’s best treasures!

APPLY HERE BY WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 18th! (the day after mardi gras)