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Steps to Leaps Students Organization Connects Boilermakers to Steps to Leaps Pillars

group of students talking at challenge course

More than two years after its implementation, Steps to Leaps continues to make a campus-wide impact – and a new student organization is helping Boilermakers connect further with program pillars.

The Steps to Leaps Students organization was founded to create opportunities for students to participate in programs and activities to develop in each of the five Steps to Leaps pillars – impact, well-being, leadership and professional development, network building and grit. Membership activities include leadership development workshops, relaxation and well-being activities, alumni networking events, collaborative campus programs and more. The organization offers several officer positions for students seeking leadership roles.

Programs and events are held regularly, often in collaboration with campus partners, and offer a wide variety of benefits for organization members and other students.

“We try to have one event per pillar each semester so that when the semester is finished, a student has developed in some way in each of the pillars,” says Khushboo Jain, president of Steps to Leaps Students.

Events to help students de-stress and focus on the well-being pillar have included a bowling night before finals, a virtual escape room and various arts and crafts projects. Members of the organization have also participated in team building activities, such as completing one of the Recreation & Wellness challenge courses.

Group of Students in circle in challenge course

The organization often partners with other student organizations to offer leadership development, networking and professional development events connected to the networks, grit and leadership and professional development pillars. The organization partnered with Purdue Alumni Student Experience (PASE) to offer students the opportunity to get professional headshots taken prior to the fall career fair season. Steps to Leaps Students also partnered with PASE, Old Masters and Purdue Student Union Board on a coffee chat, where student leaders had the opportunity to meet Old Masters for small-group discussion. A similar event will be held during the spring semester with Rising Professionals.

These events and tools for self-improvement are why Harnoor Cheema, a sophomore studying electrical and computer engineering, joined the organization.

“I wanted to develop and become a better version of myself, which is one of the main goals of the organization,” Cheema says.

Community service projects are also part of the Steps to Leaps Students mission. The organization helped repurpose t-shirts and other discarded cloth materials into reusable bags to be distributed at ACE Campus Food Pantry, giving visitors to the pantry environmentally-friendly and sturdy bags to take home their food.

Making a small difference in the campus community is one of the primary factors that drew sophomore Nate Sabol to join Steps to Leaps Students.

“I was joining a fair amount of clubs just for fun and I felt like I should join one that would have an impact,” says Sabol, who is studying environmental and ecological engineering.

Students interested in joining the Steps to Leaps Students organization are encouraged to attend a meeting to learn more. Meetings are held on Thursdays at 6 p.m. in Krach Leadership Center, Room 336.