By Lester Guttuso, St. Paul’s School
On Sunday, July 16, I entered the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport with an intense amount of anxiety. I had never flown before. Throughout my life, I had hardly ever traveled. Thus, I felt severely misplaced while standing in the crowded airport lobby.
However, as I clumsily stumbled through airport security, baggage checks and the terminal, I quickly became fascinated with the typical airport surroundings. Then, at precisely 8:15 a.m., I traveled to Moraga, California, where my life would suddenly change forever.
While residing at St. Mary’s College of California, I participated in Lasallian Student Leaders (LSL), a five-day Lasallian high school conference focused on servant leadership. After receiving the week’s tightly packed schedule, I immediately realized that I had my work cut out for me.
Certainly, my time here would not resemble a relaxing vacation. After lugging bulky suitcases up California’s hilly countryside, I was greeted by a congested dormitory hall without a properly functioning air-conditioning system. Yet, as the tumultuous week progressed, I was able to successfully connect with numerous young student leaders throughout the Lasallian District of San Francisco New Orleans. Although hundreds of miles away from home, a distinct sense of Lasallian family, fraternity and fellowship ran deep throughout the university’s scenic campus.
Despite extreme lack of sleep, intense exhaustion and little free time, LSL participants effectively formed lasting personal bonds with their fellow Lasallian brothers, sisters and mentors through engaging activities and social gatherings.
Quite simply, Lasallian Student Leaders was a wonderful experience filled with joy, laughter and heartfelt enthusiasm. All the while, LSL participants benefitted from the enlightening experience of gaining fresh perspectives from varying Lasallian high schools. Student participation was highly encouraged, and often forced. Consequently, I was able to develop fundamental leadership skills essential to influencing individuals within my own community. Additionally, through educational seminars and informative discussions, I gained necessary skills integral to executing leadership strategies. With these valuable assets, I aimed to greatly impact the world around me.
On Sunday, July 23, I returned to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport with a newly discovered sense of knowledge, confidence and purpose. Empowered with Lasallian education, leadership and faith, I am absolutely determined to forge a lasting Lasallian influence within my own community and throughout the world.
Lester Guttuso is a senior and editor of “The Wolf” at St. Paul’s School in Covington.