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Find Your Courage

Psychology major Bill Dahm defines courage as “leaving your comfort zone for something that you believe in.”

Dahm, one of 30 Apogee scholars from the Oskin Leadership Institute who organized Courage Day on Nov. 17, added that it doesn’t have to be some epic dilemma either.

“Courage comes in different shapes and sizes.”

Audrey Rucker, a communication studies major, explained that Courage Day is meant to inspire people to reflect on courage in their everyday lives.

The event served as a perfect example of the Oskin Leadership Institute’s mission, which is to prepares Widener students to become responsible citizens who possess the character, courage, and competencies to affect positive change.

To that end, students planned a variety of engaging activities and setup more than 500 signs around campus during Courage Day. Each sign had its own unique courage prompt. Some read: “Do you have the courage to be yourself?” or “Do you have the courage to forgive?”

“It is really important for leaders to learn how to self reflect and think about their past mistakes or accomplishments and grow from it,” said senior Lake Greene, a psychology major. “It is honestly all about growth and knowing how to harness your strengths.”

This type of self-reflection could be readily seen at nine distinct courage wall structures through the day. It was there that students wrote down and pinned their own courage stories onto the wall.

Rucker, a junior, remarked this was an important moment of growth for a lot of people.

“I think at times we worry too much about what others think,” she said. “I want future generations to not be afraid to stand up for what they believe in despite what other people are going to say.”

Greene, Rucker and Dahm also learned a lot about themselves as leaders having organized Courage Day from start to finish. They even helped recruit more than 125 volunteers to help make the event come to life.

“Leadership is about going out and finding people who aren’t involved and bringing them into a team,” remarked Dahm. “Leadership, it comes with experience and you have to be courageous enough to put yourself out there.”

Other highlights of Courage Day included activities such as a courage bracket, which allowed students to vote on what they thought was the most courageous act. Faculty and friends of the Apogee scholars were also asked to share their courage stories during classes throughout the day.

“I think it is important for people to realize that no matter how big, small, experienced, inexperienced, old or young they are that they can have and show courage in their life,” said Rucker.

“And not just on Nov. 17, but every single day and hopefully that will inspire and keep cultivating courage in our communities.”