St. Francis Borgia Leadership Institute
Leaders are trained, not born. Leadership can be defined as the firm disposition of character to serve others with humility while at the same time striving with one’s spirit for great things. Leaders see a purpose in their lives and seek to lift others up with their service to enable others to find a purpose in their own lives in accord with the grand design of the Creator. For this reason leadership excludes no one. There are also no moments in life when leadership cannot be exercised.
The threefold purpose of student leadership is to: identify students interested in becoming leaders as well as those students who currently serve in leadership roles of school co-curricular activities; develop in these students qualities and characteristics necessary to serve as leaders while at Jesuit and to prepare them for future leadership roles; promote collaboration and fraternity among the various aspects of student life.
The St. Francis Borgia Leadership Institute is designed to help students develop the proper habits of character to become leaders through the development of leadership skills. The authority of leadership that stems from personal character, not merely the power inherent in a title or position, is the principle concern of this program. While it is expected that these types of leaders will populate the top positions in co-curricular activities around campus, the program is open to all students interested in the exercise of this type of leadership. Leadership is not the vocation of the few, but the many.
Why St. Francis Borgia?
St. Francis Borgia was the third superior general of the Society of Jesus, serving roughly ten years after the death of St. Ignatius. He was born to one of the great families of Europe. In a sense, one could say he was born to rule. However, he ended up leading, just not in the way his parents perhaps had envisioned.
He forsook the royal life of temporal leadership for the humble carrying on of the vision of St. Ignatius and the Jesuits. Borgia didn’t start from scratch like Ignatius did. He took over the Society when it was in a strong position and made it better.
In looking for a model of leadership at Jesuit High School, St. Francis Borgia gives an example that is appropriate for today. Student leaders inherit a great tradition at Jesuit and need to be good stewards of this tradition to hand it on in a better place.