Igniting Leadership Education: One Team, One Fight!

By Lt. Col. Ralph Gracia USAF Ret.
Guest Columnist

In this edition, I would like to thank all my followers who are enjoying the Al Día Today newspaper’s leadership articles. I continue to give back to our Florida and New York City communities with these leadership articles. Barrack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, once said, “Out of many, we are one.” This is the feeling I am experiencing. Getting the most from what you do requires many skills, but how you keep others motivated through solid leadership direction is an important skill. Even the best leaders have challenges for performing up to their expectations without a motivating and inspiring atmosphere. As educators, we need as a society to promote on-going education and fulfillment for everyone’s dreams. Individuals tend to work harder when they know their leaders appreciate their efforts.

Igniting leadership education fires up students’ dreams. Assistant Principal Wayne Benjamin of Maspeth High School once again selected the Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard to present our National Colors at the Council of Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) 60th Annual Leadership Jubilee Conference. The CSA Conference afforded the AFJROTC Cadets the opportunity to meet many dignitaries, however one person stood out in particular, New York City Chancellor Dr. David C. Banks. Chancellor Banks was excited about the performance and expressed pride in the Cadets. The AFJROTC Program is designed to prepare students, at every level of their educational path, to exemplify the standards of excellence and character. For leadership education to be strong, each person must feel challenged with duties and responsibilities and a sense of accomplishment.

Benjamin also praised our cadets and commented that “The conference was an invaluable and extraordinary experience for the cadets who displayed with great eloquence: honor, citizenship, leadership, discipline and courage.” This sentiment was also expressed by Dr. Banks, who shared, “I am always so very proud of the AFJROTC Cadets and their exemplary service to our school, our community, our city and our country. These young people make today better than yesterday and are instrumental in creating a better tomorrow.” Leadership education promotes an atmosphere in which our cadets continue to be successful.

This has been my 13th year as a leadership columnist for this extraordinary bilingual newspaper. I want to personally thank the readers and followers for their kind words…my heartfelt wishes to all! From left to right, Dr. David C. Banks shows his pride with a group of cadets, including Cadet Maj Dariel Reyes, Cadet 2nd Lt Timothy Chen, Cadet 2nd Lt Jarlyn Breton, Cadet Maj Shay Crutch, and MSgt Eddie F. Carr