“Leadership is not a title, it’s something you earn,” says NFL coach Mike Ditka, who has lead the Chicago Bears to championship victories. It is a lesson learned well by Trevor Newton, a Fighting Scots defensive lineman, who was a Resident Assistant in Peterson Hall at Monmouth College.
“Being an athlete, like being an RA, is rewarding, satisfying, and with practice, success can be seen,” said Newton. In the course of his college career, Newton became involved beyond the gridiron and his residence hall. He volunteered as a leader with the local Cub Scout Pack and was involved in numerous campus activities. That involvement paid off when he ran for office as the president of the student body and was subsequently elected. Newton attributed that success in part to his experience as a Resident Assistant.
“Res Life helped teach me how to manage people in a calm and effective way,” he said. Being a Resident Assistant can help students develop life long skills that create success down the road. Long before he was coaching NFL football, Ditka was also a Resident Assistant at the University of Pittsburgh. Some students may not believe that they’re ready to take such a high-profile leadership position on campus. However, Ditka says, “Before you can win, you have to believe you are worthy.” The Hall-of-Fame inductee’s words are prophetic, not just for football, but for every challenge in life.