By Alexis Vega
It is no surprise that today, women are rising into leadership roles. At this college, three young women are stepping up to the challenge of leadership positions with force.
Lisa Cervantes, Ashlee Davison and Harley Williams are all presidents of student organizations. The three women care about their work, which gives them the drive and focus to get the jobs done.
Cervantes, Students for Environmental Awareness president, has led the organization for the past two years. She is also responsible for founding the organization in 2013 to bring awareness to environmental issues on campus and in this city.
Cervantes was sitting outside on campus when she realized there were no places to put her recyclable item, so she went to student life to ask about an environmental club.
“I took advantage of the opportunity; I became my own leader,” Cervantes said. “Take initiative and just go for it.”
Cervantes was excited that the organization was invited to participate in the King William Fair April 23 by Melanie Whitley, King William Fair coordinator, to help the environmental efforts for the event.
“You never know who you will meet through this organization, but it’s always someone very cool,” Cervantes said.
“This organization has helped create collaborations and connections with other campus environmental groups in San Antonio and other community groups to better the environment,” she said.
Cervantes has the drive and the passion to better the community through environmental efforts and has brought new light to her favorite saying, ‘Be the change you wish to SEA in the world!’
Cervantes’ goal this semester is to paint half of the outdoor bins blue for recycling to reduce waste.
Davison, president of the Society of Women Engineers, takes prides in the club’s ability to provide a safety net for women in engineering.
“It’s important to build each other up,” Davison said.
Davison was part of Peer Assistance and Leadership in junior high school and high school. The program shaped her into the fearless, take charge leader she is today.
Davison’s long-term goal for the club is to convert the organization to an official college chapter. The club needs an additional 10 members before she can file an application to the national organization.
The club is offering membership reimbursement as an incentive for joining.
Focused on fundraising, the club is hoping to take members to a national conference in October in Philadelphia. “I was really proud of everyone for stepping up and helping to raise funds,” Davison said.
She said she believes that being a leader for campus organizations has positive effects on future aspirations.
“In whatever career you pick, you will have to take leadership roles, so it will teach you how to manage those roles, and it’s great for your résumé,” she said.
“When you are feeling the inspiration, you have to just grab it,” she said.
Williams, Student Government Association president, helps bridge communication between students and administration.
After attending several SGA meetings as the psychology club representative, Williams stumbled upon her passion to be part of “the big dog organization” on campus, she said.
Williams said she found her inspiration to lead from her grandmother.
“She was a biker, and a lot of times people would say a woman can’t pick up a bike and ride it. Then she said, watch me,” Williams said.
Williams desires to inspire other women to be leaders by teaching them to step out of their fear and get out of their comfort zones.
“You’re never going to be ready, but once you step into a role, you will then learn what is expected of you,” Williams said. “All you need is passion.”
Williams believes that to be a great leader it doesn’t matter if you have a background in something or not. To be a great leader, you must have desire to continue to grow as a person, she said.
Williams is working on Puppy Days. The event will give students a mental break to play with puppies and de-stress during finals.
A few of Williams’ long-term goals as president are to have better disability access on campus and a ‘remembrance’ for students who have died.
“Women are here, and it’s up to us to step out and speak. No one is going to ask you,” Williams said.