By Lt. Col. Ralph Gracia
In this edition, I would like to thank all of my followers who are enjoying the Al Dia Today newspaper’s leadership articles. I continue to give back to our Florida and New York City communities with these leadership articles. Barrack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, once said, “Out of many, we are one.” This is the feeling I am experiencing. Getting the most from what you do requires many skills, but how you keep others motivated through solid leadership direction is an important skill. Even the best leaders have challenges for performing up to their expectations without a motivating and inspiring atmosphere. As educators, we need as a society to promote on-going education and fulfillment for everyone’s dreams. Individuals tend to work harder when they know their leaders appreciate their efforts.
Igniting leadership education ultimately fires up students’ dreams. Assistant Principal Wayne Benjamin of Junior High School 292 selected my Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard to present our National Colors at the Council of Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) 49th Annual Leadership Conference. The CSA Conference afforded our AFJROTC Cadets the opportunity to meet many dignitaries, however one person stood out in particular, NYC Chancellor Carmen Fariña. Chancellor Fariña was excited about the performance and expressed pride in our Cadets. Our AFJROTC Program is designed to prepare students, at every level of their educational path, to exemplify the standards of excellence and character. For leadership education to be strong, each person must feel challenged with duties and responsibilities and a sense of accomplishment.
Benjamin also praised our cadets and commented that “The conference was an invaluable and extraordinary experience for the cadets who displayed with great eloquence: honor, citizenship, leadership, discipline and courage.” This sentiment was also expressed by Jim Maguire, Assistant Principal at Franklin K. Lane Educational Campus, who stated, “I am always so very proud of our AFJROTC Cadets and their exemplary service to our school, our community, our city and our country. These young people make today better than yesterday and are instrumental in creating a better tomorrow.” Leadership education promotes an atmosphere in which our cadets continue to be successful.
This has been my fifth year as a leadership columnist for this extraordinary bilingual newspaper. I want to personally thank the readers and followers for their kind words…my heartfelt wishes to all!
Lt. Colonel Ralph Gracia, USAF (Retirado), EdD (Served honorably for 21 years). El Dr. He has taught leadership since 2003. email: rgracia.RG@gmail.com.