Photo by Elizabeth Cheruto - Bobby Lith front left, looks up as a member of his team walks on a high thin metal as the other team members await their turn during their training at the Alpine Meadows Retreat Center on Saturday, March 21. Lith is one of the 20 LBCC students nominated for the John Fylpaa leadership institute program.
Photo by Elizabeth Cheruto – Bobby Lith front left, looks up as a member of his team walks on a high thin metal as the other team members await their turn during their training at the Alpine Meadows Retreat Center on Saturday, March 21. Lith is one of the 20 LBCC students nominated for the John Fylpaa leadership institute program.

By Elizabeth Cheruto / Contributing Writer

Nineteen students from LBCC headed to the mountains of Big Bear for a leadership retreat at Alpine Meadows Retreat Center from on Friday, March 20 to Sunday, March 22.

The students are part of the John Fylpaa leadership institute, a free 7-month, 7 session program.

Name after the retired dean, the institute is designed to create civic leaders through monthly workshops that will include field trips, guest speakers and community projects.

At the end of each group, the students who complete the program will receive a certificate of completion and a transcript notation.

At the camp, the students underwent hours of team-building training from 8:15 a.m. to 10:15 p.m., which included three meal breaks.

Some of the activities included trust fall, requiring a team member to go up the ladder, then fall, trusting the team to catch him or her.

Keirra Colone, 27, a sociology major, said, “To be a great leader, trust in yourself, you are an overcomer.”

Student Life coordinators Maya Cardenas and Derek Oriee were among other leaders who were training the students.

Cardenas said, “Derek and I are extremely proud of the group of students we brought to the mountain. Each and every student the committee selected represents the very best of LBCC and our leadership program.

“We believe in this group and we are excited to see what they produce to make our community and our college a better place.”

Brian Ortiz, 23, a computer engineering major, said, “What I will take from this weekend is that there is no better time than right now. The bonds I have made show that I, we, all have the potential of becoming great leaders.”

Most of the team members said that they were inspired by their team members to be better leaders.

John Salcedo, 41, a film and digital media major, said, “Jason Kang inspired me during the friendship bracelet exchange ceremony with a quote from Frank Ocean, “To work hard in silence and let my success be my noise.”

Oriee taught the team that courage among other skills is essential in leadership. Jackeline Velasquez, 20, an early childhood development major, said to be a great leader, “Just do it, have courage, contribute to the world and take risks.”

The leadership team is diverse, with of members ages 18-51.

Dave Shyloski, the assistant director at the camp, said, “Out of the college groups we have seen, LBCC is the most diverse.”