Kirsten Marshall ’13

AR*C, Program Coordinator for YMCA School Age Child Care


We are often unaware of the impact of our everyday gestures. What we may see as subtle acts of gratitude or kindness may hold an entirely different meaning for others. During our first Landis Staff meeting, we were shown a TEDx video titled “Everyday Leadership.” The video presents the story of a man who was handing out lollipops years ago and encouraged a gentleman in the crowd to hand a lollipop to a particular girl who was passing by. What was simply a playful gesture to the speaker soon became a pivotal moment in that girl’s life. The man was unaware of his great impact until she approached him years later and informed him it was because of his kindness that she decided to stay in school. It was also because of his action that she met her future husband.

Link to video

After watching this video, I became inspired. It allowed me to reflect on my own “lollipop moments.” I realized that just days earlier, I was told by a friend that a statement I had made a year ago, which I had no recollection of, was the reason she had made a particularly big decision in her life. Furthermore, I began to think of all the people who have motivated me throughout my life, in ways that they may not even be aware of. Being a leader does not simply include those moments when you are at the podium. We are always leaders whether or not we realize it. My hope is that my tutors have the opportunity to have significant impacts on the lives of the children we work with, even if through the most subtle, everyday gestures.

What “lollipop moments” have you experienced?