Thursday, December 12, 2013

Leadership lived: Student finds resources to succeed at UIS

Gella-Kate Meeks has made the University of Illinois Springfield her home. The sophomore criminal justice major came to campus wanting to make an impact.

“It was my goal and mission to put myself out there and to get involved,” she said. “I didn’t want to be one of those people in my room saying it was boring and there’s nothing to do.”

Meeks discovered the hip hop culture Legacy Dance Team, which performs at events on campus, such as the Rip the Runway fashion show, basketball games, and the International Festival.

“Legacy is like a little close-knit family and we produce dances for different and various events on campus,” she said. “We just like to perform and show people what we can do.”

Meeks is now the secretary of the Legacy Dance Team, co-vice president of the campus performance arts group Creative Flow, and talent coordinator for the Student Activities Committee (SAC).

As part of her involvement with SAC, she recently helped plan a successful student-based talent show called “UIS Got Talent”.

“I knew it was a lot of work to put together events, but I didn’t know exactly how much,” said Meeks. “You have to get the budget; you have to make sure the plan is down first and foremost.”

Meeks credits her UIS education for her success. She’s learned from a teaching-focused academic experience in a right-sized supportive community.

“I don’t know what I would have did if I didn’t come to this school,” she said. “I wouldn’t have met all of my wonderful friends. I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now. I wouldn’t have all of the opportunities I do now.”

Upon graduating from UIS, Meeks plans to become a forensic technologist combining two of her passions: science and computers.

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