Weston Boardman built the Convention of States internship program -- the Emerging Leaders Program -- from the ground up. He's a senior at Hillsdale College studying Economics and conducting research on John Quincy Adams’ foreign policy philosophy, and he recently completed Officer Candidate School for the U.S. Marine Corps.
Weston was featured recently by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, and we wanted to share an excerpt from that interview:
What would you say are qualities of a civic leader?
The civic leader’s self-interest seeks that which is best for both the spiritual and physical well-being of the community. They must have an authentic humility—one that neither boasts nor speaks disparagingly of their talents and abilities. Within a civic leader resides a servant’s heart and an ability to communicate effectively their vision and innermost sentiments. The civic leader labors out of love and relies heavily on the judgement and prudence of their mind and those around them. Both being just and appearing just are qualities needed, and they ultimately must remain principled and compassionate.
What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
Creating the Convention of States Project’s internship program has been the biggest risk of my lifetime. I was given the task and responsibility as a 19-year-old in college. I essentially had no experience in designing and implementing an internship program that would train the next generation of leaders. Not only that, but it is a program for an organization of 4 million grassroots volunteers. I was nervous and way out of my league. My coworkers were confident in my abilities but I often worried if I was doing well enough. Reflecting on the progress of the program and its transformation into the year-long Emerging Leaders Program, I ask myself, “How could I have ever said no?” Our interns are already going out, affecting change in our community and nation, and spreading the message of servant leadership to everyone they meet. Moreover, I continue to learn from each intern, my fellow patriots, and the incredible opportunities Convention of States has offered me. To those who feel in over their heads or believe they do not have the skill set for a certain job, I would say, “If you are a person of character and possess an attitude to learn, the aptitude and skills can always be acquired.”
Great job, Weston! Thanks for your service to the Convention of States Project and for your service to our country.
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