Leadership Means Teamwork, and Teamwork is Ubuntu

Jazmín’s leadership philosophy statement and reflection, which she wrote and shared during the 2020 Seattle Institute Graduation Ceremony:

Hi everyone, I am Jessica Jazmin Hernandez from NPH El Salvador.  

This year in Seattle has been amazing. I have learned that I am strong, brave, and empowered. I have learned that leadership means teamwork, and teamwork is UBUNTU, an African philosophy: You are because I am, I am because you are.

I know who I am as a leader and how I can help others to become leaders. To be a leader for me is not to be the first. It is not to know everything. To me, being a leader is to understand what others need, and how to help.

To be the best person possible and to support others, I understand that I need to work on myself as well. Thankfully, I have had the time to do that in this program, and I will continue with my personal and professional development when I return to El Salvador. I believe that a good leader is a person who believes in serving others and making change in their community. That is the type of leader that I want to be. Staying close and serving my community in El Salvador helps me remember the importance of family and it makes me feel so fortunate to be part of the NPH Family.

I want to thank God for all the blessings that I have received in my life and that have brought me here with you today. I am so grateful for my homestays – The Jack family was with me from the beginning of this adventure, and I had wonderful experiences with them. Peach and Dave, thank you for your time and understanding. You have supported me and helped me grow not only with my education, but in my personal growth. And to the Boysen family: Tom, Catherine, Joanne and Olivia – you have opened your hearts and home to me, and you have been there for me to share many incredible and challenges memories. These experiences I will always carry in my heart. You will always be part of my life. Thank you to my National Director, Dora, for believing in me and giving me this opportunity, and thank you to Erin and the NPH team. I am grateful for all the work and effort that Erin does in the program, for the trust she has placed in us, for opening her family to our team and for the good times together. Thanks to my great team: Alexis, David, and Abby who supported me in many situations and gave me hope and strength to continue. Thank you to my mentors Franni and Anna who have shared their time and love with me.

This day represents many significant things for me. It began as a challenge that I wanted for myself, and it became an experience that now means wonderful memories and great learning for my life. I am happy to know that while this chapter in my life is ending, another one is beginning.  

I return to my country happy and grateful, ready to continue supporting my NPH Family and sharing my knowledge and my experiences with my brothers and sisters. I am ready to continue my last year in university and to earn my degree in Marketing and International Business! I will return to my home as myself – but I have changed – I will be returning with a more open mind, with new skills and new way of looking at life and the world.

I would like to close with one of my favorite leadership quotes by John Maxwell,

“A LEADER IS ONE WHO KNOWS THE WAY, GOES THE WAY AND SHOWS THE WAY.” 

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