First-Year Leadership Opportunity (FLO) is an Associated Student program designed specifically for first-year students looking for ways to get involved with the Chico State campus and community. A FLO Coordinator plays a pivotal role throughout the school year in ensuring the smooth functioning of events and meetings. Their responsibilities encompass various aspects of planning, collaborating, and organizing materials for FLO's program, Facilitators and members. This years FLO Coordinator is Makena.
What has it been like going from facilitator to coordinator?
Going from facilitator to coordinator has been very eye opening to say the least. After joining FLO (First Year Leadership Opportunity) in 2021, I would have never thought that I’d be taking the lead on things. I’ve learned a lot about different leadership styles and how to use everyone’s skills to their fullest potential. I miss all my old FLO team from last year, but I am excited about connecting with the 2023-2024 FLO facilitators and having a fun time together!
What changes do you want to implement this academic year?
This academic year, FLO is becoming more connected with not only the AS but the rest of Chico State’s campus. In the past years, we have done an excellent job of giving first year students the resources and tools they need to have a successful time at Chico but are looking to expand that practice this year. We are planning to have more guest speakers and tours of places on campus like the CCLC or The Well so that students can feel more comfortable and knowledgeable about all the places and resources Chico State has available for them.
Who has been an influential person throughout your FLO experience?
FLO has given me so many new friends and connections to campus including my roommates and current co-workers. Kelly Henderson was my facilitator my first year at Chico State: she was one of the first people who made me feel welcomed on campus and created a BRAVE space for me and my FLO-g to share and connect with one another—she's so amazing. Chris Navarrete was the FLO coordinator last year and they
were so committed to FLO that it was inspiring. They put their heart and soul into the program and left me such a great legacy to carry on for the next year.
What are you most excited about your last year with FLO?
I am most excited to take on a different role and to grow as a leader this year. The coordinator position focuses on creating lesson plans, overseeing the work of facilitators and working hand in hand with my boss, Brooke McCall, with the overall goal of outreach and helping our FLO members grow academically, socially and personally. I am
also so thankful for the opportunity to expand my knowledge and step out of my comfort zone doing things that I may not have done if this wasn’t my job.
What is something many people may not know about FLO?
Something people may not know about FLO is that although we are a place for first years to make connections to each other and campus, one of our main focuses is passing on information and skills to help them better themselves. The first series this semester we’re diving into is Healthy Habits where we present 7 different habits and individually reflect on how we can integrate them into all our lives. Some of our future
series are professionalism, management and leadership styles.
Why did you decide to become a coordinator?
I wanted to stay in FLO for another year! I’ve been a part of this program for over 2 years and really wanted to take all the opportunities that FLO offered to me, coordinator being one of them. I wanted to continue to impact students’ lives in a way that I have a lot of knowledge about along with something to push me out of my comfort zone. I love Chico State, working with people and passing along my experiences to hopefully aid and support anyone I can.
How would you describe your staff in one word and why?
Silly. We are constantly laughing and creating a bond with a healthy balance of work and friendship. I am so happy and grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Brooke and my amazing facilitators Julissa, Ellie, Ashley, Lola and Zion. They are all such special individuals who I admire so much.
My name is Makena Ford, and I use she/her pronouns. It is my second year at Chico State, and I am currently undeclared but am interested in a lot of majors such as Journalism/PR.