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NSLS Success Stories, Make a Better World, NSLS Chapter Spotlight, NSLS

Building Leaders and a Better World Through Service

Jeffrey Field, Chapter President at Governors State University (GSU), is proud of his chapter members’ willingness to step up and make a difference in the lives of others. 

“Our Chapter at Governors State University is committed to providing the community with the best possible support and encouragement to make lifelong connections. Through the power of volunteer work, we have been able to provide members with the chance to become greater leaders.” 

If anything, Field is underplaying the remarkable accomplishments of the GSU chapter in its focus on acts of service. The chapter members volunteered at a bowling event for the Special Olympics Illinois, participated in garbage pickup and native seed collection projects at the Forest Preserves in Cook County, and staffed an autism event at Divine Puzzle, an organization devoted to creating positive change in the Chicago autism community.  


What’s more, the GSU chapter just wrapped their latest service event — their fourth for the Fall 2023 semester — in which they assisted at a bocce ball event for Special Olympics Illinois. Members helped out by keeping score, teaching, playing, and providing general player support. 

And as if that wasn’t enough, they’ve prepared for yet another event in November and December, partnering with Habitat for Humanity.

Planning, Promotion, Participation

Like most Chapter Presidents and other leaders, Field has a solid grasp on the skills it took to execute a plan designed to achieve his chapter’s service objectives and can quickly tell you exactly what those skills were: “Communication, creativity, problem-solving, motivation, confidence, positivity.”

The process the chapter undertook to carry out its efforts in these events might serve as a roadmap for other chapters and their members. It started with what’s become a common refrain we hear from students in active chapters: figuring out where the needs are greatest, and then determining how the group can meet those needs with a little innovation

“First, we looked at opportunities where we can make a great impact on the community in the Governors State University area. Then, De Vonte Turner, our Community Service Chair, used his connections in volunteer work to help create community service events like supporting special needs children who participate in sporting events and cleaning up the Cook County forest preserve.”

Next, the chapter turned its attention to promoting and sharing the events to reach as many as possible. 

“We helped promote these community service events through the NSLS website and spread awareness by word of mouth throughout the Governors State campus at least a few weeks in advance to ensure that members hear about what we are doing for the community. We also took pictures of NSLS members at these events to show the positive impact we are having and also to encourage others to join us to make this world a better place.”

And the impact? Like any efforts to give back and help others, the results have been positive. 

“This had a tremendous impact on our community by giving young kids and adults hope that there are good-minded people who want to do their part to lead the community into a healthier future. The impact on our chapter is that it has brought us all closer together than we ever thought possible. It goes to show that, with the right people and determination, our chapter can make a difference in our community and people’s lives for the better moving forward. We need inspirational leadership now more than ever today in a world that can be rough at times.”

Where Personal Growth Meets Leadership Development

As chapter leaders and members work together to improve the lives of others in their communities, they’re also improving their own lives on a more personal level. That’s something Field has noticed for himself in the past year. 

“My experience has impacted me significantly on a personal level by giving me the confidence to make decisions that I would have been totally afraid to make prior. I was afraid to break barriers in my own personal life because of the fear of failure. Now I know that failure is a part of success. I have had the privilege of meeting so many great people through the NSLS that have inspired me to overcome my fears.”

Field has also observed that his service as Chapter President at GSU has helped him develop both skills and confidence that will serve him well in his career. 

“Professionally, being a chapter leader has helped me grow into a confident young man, one who has the courage to speak up for myself and others in need. I now know that I can help make a difference in my life and the community around me. I have been able to apply for jobs that I couldn’t have imagined having an opportunity at in the past. My passion to help others has grown exponentially since becoming a chapter leader of the NSLS.”

Looking Ahead and Dreaming Big

Thinking ahead to what’s next for the GSU chapter, Field shares a three-pronged plan: 

“One, to grow our chapter at Governors State University to be even larger and more engaging than before. Two, to inspire others to join us on our journey towards excellence and prosperity. Three, to encourage members in the community to use their voice for the greater good and to make a difference.”

And because the members of the GSU chapter know well that ambitious goals deserve strong action steps, Field has designed a kickoff event that’s sure to get everyone talking — literally: 

“We plan on achieving these goals by helping promote an event I just started at Governors State University on October 20th. It is called Spark The Fire To Inspire and we encourage NSLS members and students to use their voice to give a motivational speech on something that is dear to them that will inspire others to speak up with their voice.”

Most members, Chapter Presidents, and E-Board members discover that their participation in the NSLS helps sharpen and refine their own personal views on what leadership is. Field is no exception. To his current way of thinking, it’s far more about teamwork than mere “management.” 

“Leadership is about working together with like-minded individuals to inspire them to be the best people they can possibly become. It’s also about leading by example through your actions and not just your words.”

Building a Better World One Community at a Time

Good, strong leaders know that their role is one of service and cooperation. That’s why the NSLS has embraced servant leadership as one leadership model for its members and chapters. The GSU chapter holds the same views and puts those principles into action. 

“We take pride in our community because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have the chance to bring members together in the first place. It is an honor and privilege to be a part of this NSLS chapter here at Governors State University. I can’t thank our Executive Board enough for their commitment and leadership to make this chapter and community a major success.”

Field strongly encourages other student leaders and organizations to embrace their potential and create positive change for themselves, their organizations, and their communities. 

“You all have the potential inside of yourselves just waiting to be unlocked for the world to see. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Prove them wrong through your actions. Be a leader in your community that others can look up to and be inspired by. That is how you generate true positive change for the community. Be the best person you can possibly be. Use your voice to empower others to generate change so our children can live in a better world than we live in now.”

NSLS chapters everywhere are generating tremendous change for the better in their communities. Read about one Alabama chapter that overcame pandemic-related challenges to transform itself into a service-oriented powerhouse.