LEADERSHIP ABROAD IN COSTA RICA. This introduction is part of a series for the class Socially Responsible and Ethical Student Leadership (ALD 379).
This semester COVID-19 really took us by surprise! This was especially true during our third edition of the Costa Rica Social Responsibility and Ethical Leadership Study Abroad Course. Since the 2017-18 academic year, we have sent two cohorts of students to engage with servant leaders and diverse communities in the Central American country. Unfortunately, this summer our in-country experience was canceled.
Everyone was disappointed…but that didn’t stop our drive to provide them with an authentic experience that would serve to transform their thinking about servant leadership in a socially responsible and ethical manner.
We invite you to take a journey with our students on these blogs. You will have the opportunity to witness their personal growth, challenges, and innovative solutions as they prepared for this transformative experience. Who they are as leaders, but more so who they are as people, will shine through in their work.
Our third cohort of the course has genuinely embodied what this course strives to foster –globally-minded ethical leaders. Our students remained with the class and continued to hone their leadership skills through an online learning platform. COVID-19 provided a real global challenge that demanded the innovation of young minds. As our students have personally been impacted by the worldwide pandemic in many ways, they have also created solutions.
Through weekly reflections on leadership and community engagement, our students were able to maintain a community-oriented perspective. Also, we still were able to host leaders from Costa Rica, making use of online video conferencing platforms. Furthermore, the culminating project of the semester was very impactful, indeed. In groups, the students identified ways different communities have been impacted by COVID-19 and created ethically responsible solutions to the issues that are transferable to any global community experiencing similar challenges related to COVID-19.
There were so many powerful ideas generated by the students. In fact, one surely could think, “Why haven’t we considered this before?”