VCU Creates Leaders through I-LEAD Connect

There is no doubt that VCU fosters an environment for innovators and leaders. From notable alumni like bestselling American novelist David Baldacci to News4 Today anchor Aaron Gilchrist, a plethora of leaders have emerged from VCU over the decades.

To continue to foster leadership at VCU, more than 60 students and staff traveled to I-LEAD Connect, the Association of College Unions International newest premier student program designed to emphasize leadership, community development and change.


“I-LEAD Connect was one of the most amazing and impactful experiences of my career in Student Affairs. It’s a place where you, along with the students, enhance your leadership development and grow as a leader and as a better Ram and meet some incredible people along the way.” LaDarius Thompson, student government association advisor, said.

I-LEAD Connect offers the opportunity for college students to focus on personal growth as well as other issues facing our world. VCU students and staff attended this three-day institute Oct. 20-22 at Camp Horizons in Harrisonburg. According to ACUI’s website, I-LEAD connect further develop skills that will help students as leaders in any situation regardless of role, organization or environment while breaking cross-departmental barriers.

“I hold I-LEAD so dear to my heart,” senior health exercise major Ayana Clayton said. “It was my ‘new beginning’ at VCU as a transfer student back in 2015, and I went back to ensure others got the same out of the institute that I did.”


Through three days full of team building activities and icebreakers, I-LEAD Connect aims to work on leadership, communication and intercultural proficiency.

“I felt rejuvenated by the students enthusiasm and passion for their various student orgs. They had the ability to identify their weaknesses, yet work to make them stronger. I was really impressed that college students were there to work on themselves.” Off Campus Student Services Coordinator Lisa Mathews-Ailsworth said.

To see our full album from VCU’s trip to I-LEAD Connect, visit For more information on ACUI and the I-LEAD Connect program, visit


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