Jeffrey Mensah

What me and my peers really learned this day is that it takes courage, commitment, and compassion to function as leader of the day because you are the one that has to plan out how the day is going to go or how it is going to be planned.  What surprised me the most this day is how I really thought being leader of the day was going to be very tough but it is all about being very assertive and true to yourself.  What I am most proud of what me and my peers did that day is how we equally balanced our leadership roles for the day and there was no pressure.  The most inspiring person I met this day is the workers. I just love their work ethic and how they have fun but complete a lot in a small amount of time. It’s amazing and we don’t usually get that around here.  It was really cool being LDD, it was a good experience to have practice of what is to come for me in the future.  Something I learned about myself today is that I never knew I can be really loud and assertive and how effective it really is.



A community is not just about being neighbors, or saying hello to people every morning, a true community is built on trust, teamwork, selflessness, and solidarity; Canada del las Palmas taught me that. Every single person showed me that in order to better a single person, everyone needs to be bettered at the same time. Every single person was willing to make the sacrifice of their own time, effort, and money just so little kids can have a place to play basketball, instead of walking for one hour to find a court. Watching the community was very mesmerizing all at the same time because they all already knew what to do, and they all seemed to have this almost telepathic communication system amongst themselves. The more I observed the community, I realized that their seemingly telepathic ability took years of love and care for each other. Where this love and care was built off of will stay a mystery to me but I’ll never forget what I learned from them.

As I watched my students from English tutoring walk up to the stage and bust out dance moves, I couldn’t help but smile with a strong throbbing pain in my chest. It was a new feeling because ever since the first tutoring session I thought that I wouldn’t be able to make any true connection with them because of our language barrier, yet at the end of it all I felt everything. The amount of pride, sadness, happiness, and regret I felt was a complete shock: prideful of my students’ capabilities, happiness for what I went through with them, sadness for the realization that I won’t see them again, and regret for not being able to spend more time with them. I taught kids before but this was different, I was their teacher and friend at the same time. Just within 6 tutoring sessions, I learned who they are and I opened up to them in a way I usually don’t to other people. The graduation was filled with a lot of reminiscing of the past and hoping for better as we both go our separate ways.

Even if it was for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or just 2 hours straight, every one of my peers picked up a shovel, pickaxe, or a spade; just knowing that there are people out there like me always willing to take action for others. Today’s quote of the day was “ if you want to change the world, be the change”, and I feel that my peers lived up to that through working on our CAP delivery. My peers made me proud to be in the same group as them just for creating a change in a foreign community by being the change. These little changes will inspire bigger and bigger changes until a true difference is made.

My day started with a lot of anxiety since I’ve always been a person who is not that great at punctuality. For the first time in my life, I was able to overcome a bad habit through leadership. Knowing that there are 20 other people relying on me helped me step up, and I was able to improve my time management. I always thought that I could never get over my habit of late behavior, but being the LDD allowed me to see that I can change my worst of habits when I know that my action will affect others greatly. Although I was the LDD, I learned that today was about the people I was leading and not me. It always is about the people being lead and not the leader, and realizing this is one of the key factors into being an effective leader.