The National Society of Leadership and Success
Building leaders who make a better world
In this Issue: 

Letter from the President  | Monthly Motivation | AwardsScholarship Winners | What's Happening

Letter From the President: 

Dear Society Members,

As we near the end of the fall semester, and with it finals, I wish you the best of luck and hope you are doing well in and out of class. Being a student is challenging enough, but truly admirable is your continued dedication to self-improvement and commitment toward achieving your goals.

In last month’s newsletter I briefly discussed the importance of appreciation and thankfulness, to those around us but also to ourselves. What I would like to discuss today is what follows—giving back.    

The Society’s mission of Building Leaders Who Make a Better World reflects our core belief that we accomplish more together than we would alone. Leadership does not lead to the betterment of the world, but rather leadership is exemplified by bettering the world. 

We are all busy, and undoubtedly stressed, and have overcome challenges of all types this semester. But regardless of daily stresses, we have witnessed our members reach out and lend a hand to those in need. It seems whenever the opportunity presents itself to show goodwill, be it helping a friend study for a test or a local charity accomplish its mission, Society leaders take on the responsibility to do what they can to help out.    

We’ve chosen to dedicate this newsletter to all the great community service accomplishments that have been brought to our attention over the course of the semester. I hope you find them inspiring.

Best wishes to everyone,

Charles Knippen
The National Society of Leadership and Success

Success Corner: 

Society Chapter at Rhode Island College Hosts Toy Drive

Community Service Chair at the Society Chapter at RIC, Joli Roderick, organized a toy drive, with over 30 members donating time and toys. Between them they managed to collect over 1,200 brand-new unopened toys to donate!
A representative from the Providence Center, a behavioral health care organization, attended their Induction ceremony to accept the toys.
Once again, Society Members prove that when it comes to community-minded leadership, even with toys they aren’t playing around….



The RIC A-Team includes: Chapter Advisors Paul Jacques and Marianne Raimondo, President Christopher Laureano, VP Gladys Alvarez Mendez, Secretary Kristen Clarke, Treasurer Christina Santana, Publicity Chair Stanley Urey, Fundraising Chair Frank Paul, Society Events Chair Anna-Marie Danayan, Membership Outreach Chair Fabiola Olvera, and last but not least Social Events Chair Cynthia Silva. 

York College Society Chapter at the Breast Cancer Walk


Members of the York College Society Chapter attended the annual Breast Cancer Walk at Flushing Meadow Park, in Queens, New York. Members were joined by the Executive Board, family and friends as they walked to bring awareness to the issue of breast 


The team raised $755, which will be donated to the American 
Cancer Society to help fund research.




We’re proud of our chapter for not just talking the talk but literally walking the walk to make a better world!

Big Kudos to our Society Chapter at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise!

Society Chapter at UVa-Wise Hosts Shoebox Drop-Off for Overseas Children.
Chapter Members led a shoebox campaign in support of Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child program, collecting donations of shoebox-sized containers filled with items for needy children all over the world.
Chapter President Katie Jo Holman felt that it was “a wonderful way to give back to the community and to the world we are a part of…It is wonderful to see how many people participate in the NSLS campus shoebox drive, and to be able to see so many organizations and individuals on campus come together for such a good cause.”
Last year, more than 250 boxes were collected. This year, the members are aiming to at least double that. Chapter Co-Advisor Stephanie Shell said that they all hope that “this service initiative will become a long-standing campus tradition.”
For more information, visit

Society Members at the University of Akron Making a Better World



The all-star University of Akron Chapter making a difference!

Society Members volunteered their time this past Saturday at The University of Akron’s Make a Difference Day, weeding and landscaping the area surrounding the Ohio and Erie Canal.


And then making even more of a difference!

And during Alcohol Awareness Week the Society Chapter continued on to serve “mocktails” to thirsty colleagues!



Mitchell Community College Chapter Hosts Toy Drive

The Society Chapter at MCC has partnered with the Di’lishi Frozen Yogurt Bar inStatesville for the Salvation Army toy drive. Donors dropped off toys and left with a cup of fro-yo. As always, our members make us proud!

Society Chapter at Western Oregon University Raises Money for Turkey Basket Charity

Pictured below: the Society Chapter at WOU fundraising at Papa Murphy’s in Monmouth, Oregon,  for a local Turkey Basket charity program!

Society Alumnus Lesley Poberezny a 2014 Honored as Professional Woman of the Year!

The National Association of Professional Women recently announced Lesley Poberezny, a Society Member and a freelance consultant / owner of ElleSoMar Communications, as their 2014 Professional Woman of the Year! 

Ms. Poberezny is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in marketing. As the largest, most-recognized networking organization of professional women in the country, spanning virtually every industry and profession, the National Association of Professional Women is a powerfully vibrant networking community with over 600,000 members and nearly 300 Local Chapters.

As the owner of her own company, Ms. Poberezny wears many hats and is responsible for everything from creative concepts to strategic planning and managing the day-to-day office tasks. “I plan and execute events, design websites, banner ads, brochures and sales support materials.” Ms. Poberezny’s client list includes Cirrus Aircraft Company, Citation Jet Pilots, Owner-Pilot Association and Jet Support Services, Inc. She has also worked with her father, a leader in the aviation industry, on the Tribute to Bob Hoover.

“I am passionate about what I do. I focus on creativity, yet pay attention to detail because I want to do my work to the highest standards,” says Ms. Poberezny. “I have an inner desire to succeed and be respected for my work.”

Society Chapter at Westmoreland County Community College Holds Dancing Fundraiser


Pictured: real stars

The Society Chapter at Westmoreland County Community College held their first-ever fundraiser, titled Dancing with WCCC.

School faculty and staff, along with dancers from the community, participated in the fundraiser held for the Blackburn Center of Westmoreland County.

Since 1976, Blackburn Center has been providing services to victims of domestic and sexual violence in Westmoreland County, as well as and producing education programs for the community.

The funds raised will be presented to the Center during the Chapter’s forthcoming Induction Ceremony, on December 5,2014.

Indiana University Northwest Holds Recognition Breakfast in Honor of Society Member Jessica Palfi

Pictured: Jessica Palfi and Sandy Becker were honored Friday for their contributions to IU Northwest.

The Indiana University Northwest Office of Alumni Relations and the IU Northwest Alumni Association (IUNAA) thanked two of its most treasured supporters on October 31 with a recognition breakfast as part of their 2014 Homecoming celebration.

As Chancellor William J. Lowe said in his welcome address to the attendees, “Today, our campus is the vibrant, enriching and modern institution it is, because of your continuous support and commitment. The giving of your time, talent and treasure has been, and will continue to be instrumental in advancing IU Northwest and, in particular, supporting our greatest asset, our students.”

Jessica Palfi of Crown Point accepted the IU Northwest Student Spirit Award, established to recognize a current student who through exceptional service, leadership and school spirit has also brought honor and distinction to the campus.

Jessica graduates in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Apassionate leader, she is an extremely active student serving not only as a National Society of Leadership and Success member but also as a member of the Student Alumni Association, Student Ambassadors, Student Activities Board, and Student Government Association.

To read more about Jessica, visit the IUN website

 And to the rest of our members, for all their hard work and great projects, too many to count, who make us proud every day by being a meaningful force for good.

Are you a leader who makes a better world? Let us know so we can share your success and inspire others!  


Monthly Motivation: 

“Changing the world doesn’t happen all at once. It isn’t a big bang. It’s an evolution, the sum of a billion tiny sparks. And some of those sparks will have to come from you.”

Katie Couric

Scholarships and Awards: 



The Scholarships and Awards Recipients for Fall 2014!

Emerging Leader Scholarship

  • Samantha M. - Southern New Hampshire University-College of Online and Continuing Education 
  • Edwina T. - National Louis University 
  • Barbara T. - University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 
  • Kimberly S. - University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Financial Aid Materials Grant

  • Shengyong Z. - St. Johns University-Queens Campus 
  • Joseph W. - Nashville State Community College 
  • Rachel E.- Miami University-Oxford
  • Anissa S. - Mercer University-Atlanta 
  • Tracey S. - Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

Financial Aid Tuition Scholarship

  • Amy C. - University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • Cheneise C. - Monroe College
  • Heidi A. - Florida Gulf Coast University 
  • Nadia W. - University Of South Florida-Tampa 
  • Darlina L. B. - Southern New Hampshire University-College of Online and Continuing Education 

Society Service Award

  • Nana A. C. - The National Online Chapter
  • Lauren L. - Bradley University 

Academic Excellence Scholarship

  • Jorge E. R. - The National Online Chapter 

Dream Support Grant

  • Jade A. S. - Loyola University-New Orleans 
  • Asha E. R. - University of Maryland University College-Online Chapter
  • Lina S. - Texas Woman's University 

Better World Grant

  • Ashley S. - Central Michigan University 
  • James P. - University of Central Florida 

Global Leader Scholarship

  • Margaret B. - Lake Superior State University

Advisory Leadership Program Grant

  • Evelyn O. - City College of the City University of New York 

Student Leadership Program Grant

  • Jareese M. - Capital Community College 
  • Preslyn A. P. - North Carolina State University

Inspirational Leader Award

  • Natalie B. - St. Mary's University
  • Lauren E. R. - Edison Community College

The Spring 2015 Scholarships and Awards submission period begins in February. Find out here how the Society can suport your leadership and success!

What's Happening: 

Society Spotlight on: University of Memphis Chapter President Melissa Sweeney


Melissa, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I recently turned 22 years old and I am a senior, set to graduate this December. I’m a double-major in Anthropology and Spanish. My hobbies are going to the movies (especially seeing independent or non-mainstream films), crafting, travelling, and decorating.

What do you hope to eventually do in life, and why?

There are several different career paths and things that I would like to accomplish in life. One that I’ve recently become very interested in and plan on pursuing is student leadership and involvement. I would love to work for a university and be able to interact with students, plan and implement leadership development programs, support student organizations on campus, and encourage students to get involved. Being involved on campus, with the Society and other organizations, has definitely shaped my college experience and I really want to give that back to other students.

How did you hear about the Society, and what made you decide to join?

I heard about the Society through e-mails that were sent out to students here at The University of Memphis. At the time I was looking for an internship and more leadership positions, so it was perfect timing. I went on the Society’s website to see what this organization was about. It seemed like a perfect fit and I was so nervous I wouldn’t get the internship that I almost didn’t apply. But my friends and family supported me and encouraged me to go for it, so I applied and I was so excited when I got it!

How has the experience of being a Society Member been so far?

This experience has been incredible. I’ve been able to apply leadership skills I’ve learned in other organizations and programs, but I’ve also learned so much more than I could have asked for. It’s taught me so many leadership skills, given me connections with staff here at the University, and has allowed me to connect with many students I never would have met before.

How is it being a Chapter President? What’s the most rewarding about it? What’s the most challenging?

Being a Chapter President has been very rewarding. It’s so much fun to see what the chapter was like at the beginning of the Spring semester when there were just 10 of us, 2 advisors and 8 Executive Board members, and now our chapter has over 300 members, most of whom are on track to be inducted this semester! Seeing how students are so interested in the organization and are gaining so much makes me so happy….That’s definitely the most rewarding part of being a Chapter President.

The most challenging part is time management. Students have lots of differently responsibilities — class, homework, jobs, leadership positions — and it can be very easy to get caught up in something. I felt that I had pretty good time management before this internship, but it has taught me a lot about time management.

Do you have any tips for your fellow Chapter Presidents?

Communication and organization are extremely important. It’s very important to have effective communication within your Executive Board so you can all work together to make your chapter a success, but communication with your chapter members is equally as important. It’s also easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of things if you don’t have an organization system — not just for the organization as a whole but also for yourself. But I would say one of the most important things is to be willing to step up whenever it’s needed. Even if something is outside of your position duties, be willing to give your time to help out another E Board member or to just get the important things done.

Do you have any tips for your fellow Society Members?

Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. There are so many different aspects of the Society that [are] beneficial. You get to learn all about leadership skills, hear from these great speakers, have a Success Networking Team of members there to support you, and you get to meet and network with so many other members. Maybe a speaker will give you the motivation you need to follow your dreams or maybe a Society Member knows someone at the dream job you want. You never know who or what can open doors for you!


The University of Memphis Executive Board Members:

Top row, left to right — Kara Matteson (Treasurer), Price Powell (Secretary), Dandan Zhou (Membership Outreach Coordinator), David Ray (Community Service Chair), EuDarius Jones (Publicity Chair). 

Front row, left to right — Taydi Owens (Vice President), Melissa, Diamond Smith (Fundraising Chair).


Meet the Society Staff: Peter Orozco


Peter is the Society’s Scholarships & Awards Coordinator as well as a Chapter Support Coordinator. A New Jersey native, Peter was the president of the Society chapter at New Jersey City University before joining the National Office. Including his time as a chapter leader he has been with The Society for six years now, working hard to make sure that dedicated leaders get the recognition and support they deserve to be successful. 

What brought you to the Society?

I love the mission. I’m all about helping people improve their lives, and to be able to do that full time is a dream come true.

What do you do outside the Society?

I’m a Musician. I travel internationally—doing that was actually one of my SNT goals! My teammates suggested I start small and local, which allowed my band to hone our show and build a loyal following, which in turn brought us to the attention of a tour manager who signed us on. So thanks guys! Most of the concerts we play are fundraisers for nonprofits, which ties back to my lifelong mission as a Society member of making a better world. 

You were also just invited to join the performance company STOMP. Excited?  

None of this would be possible without the Society. The work that we do here has the potential of changing lives for the better. I’m an example of that. There isn’t any way for me to express in words how grateful I am to you all. I will be proud to represent the Society in front of the thousands of people I will be performing for.

Do you have other hobbies? 

I do Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art—I just won third place at the 2014 Capoeira Open Games in New Jersey. (A true warrior poet!)

What advice would you like to share with Society members?

Doing the thing you love the most may scare you because you’re not sure it can work in reality, but the most important part is to have a clear idea of where you want to be and whoyou want to be.

How can someone do that?

Well, I for one have an actual “dream box.” In it I put everything I want to accomplish—notes, pictures, etc.—it’s the last thing I look at every night and the first thing I look at every morning. It helps remind me why I do the things I do every day, and so I do them better. I feel that my day has a purpose, and I move through it with greater focus. 

Who’s your favorite leader, past or present, real or fictional?

Abraham Lincoln. He was raised working in the family farm and wasn’t very educated, but one day he came across a law book and he fell in love with law, so he worked hard and became a lawyer and eventually one of our greatest presidents.    

 What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

“The sharpest sword is forged in the hottest flames.” -Chinese proverb


Our members are leading and inspiring individuals on their campuses and in their communities across the country every day, and we want to help tell those stories! Articles and other content for upcoming newsletters can be submitted anytime to communications@societyleadership.orgPlease include photos from your event, and let us know what you were doing, who participated and how it impacted your members and community. So many chapters are making a difference every day.

Keep up the good work!