This was one of the more inspiring news stories published last week. Ohio high school junior Meghan Vogel was already a champ when she won the 1600-meter race, breaking a 20-year-old school record. Her next race was the 3200-meter which she was possibly primed to win as well. Incidentally, she lost the race but won in a bigger way that counts beyond a physical win: She helped a fallen runner get up and cross the finish line, arm and arm, leaning upon one another. The ailing runner, Arden McMath, a sophomore from an opposing high school, admitted she was “surprised” that Vogel stopped to pick her up after she had collapsed on the track. I understand McMath’s surprise. I too, ran track in school and won several first and second place awards. My strongest competitor (she and I always seemed to be matched up in last-leg races) was ready to dust me and I was ready to dust her. Striding into that last lap, feet and hearts pounding, I’m unsure if she or I had tripped and fallen if either of us would have stopped to help the other. I’d like to think that we would have.
Vogel’s last place finish in the 3200-meter race is secondary to her first place victory to offering unexpected compassion to another human on this journey of life. Vogel’s story quickly hit the news media and virtual spaces perhaps because it is such a stark contrast to the selfish environment of our society at-large. Vogel’s actions displays how others should be able to ”lean on us” in times of difficulty and hopelessness–whether we know them or not. Together, we can win this race in life…a race not given to the swift, but the compassionate and leads to internal, external and eternal rewards. This is L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST in action.
Read story and watch video on “Ohio High School Runner Hailed for Sportsmanship After Helping Fellow Runner” .
Nicole D. Hayes desires that girls understand their worth and know their identity. Nicole is the Women of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST Director whereby she communicates the activities, goals, messages, mission and vision of this women’s leadership division. Women of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST was inspired based on Nicole’s passion to empower and restore women through a global platform in partnership with the talents of other women who share the same passion, varying talents and embody the L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST core leadership traits. In addition to this role, alongside her brother, Nicole is also the co-founder of Pieces of Life, LLC a media relations consultancy based in Washington, D.C. Operating with a company and personal mantra of “making an investment in people,” she serves nonprofit organizations and small businesses desiring media visibility, but lack in-house expertise or budget to hire a full-service agency. She also has a background in broadcast journalism and uses that outlet to address issues for homeless persons and other disenfranchised women, individuals.