Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of getting together with some of my fellow Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) scholars. At one point, I was looking around at the table and thought Wow, how did I get to hang out with such cool people? How often do you hear that when talking about people you met through a professional development program? However, DELP is more than just your typical professional development program. It’s about making an impact that can last a lifetime.
What I love about my class (2008-2009, aka the best DELP class ever!) is that our chemistry is undeniable. The running joke among DELP is when you see one ’08-’09 scholar, another two or three can’t be far behind. Despite the diversity of our association career paths, we’ve bonded in a way that usually only happens on playgrounds or during summer camp, not in conference rooms or coaching sessions. Even as alumni, we still update each other on our professional and personal lives. We get together when we’re in each other’s cities. We provide a helping hand when a contact is needed and a shoulder to lean on when life gets tough.
The impact this program has had on my life cannot be measured by the number of business cards acquired or certifications earned. It’s about the people who have challenged me to live beyond my expectations. My DELP classmates are not just professional colleagues. They are my friends, confidants, partners in crime and just plain good people. Everyone should be so fortunate.