McKenzie Fisher knows what it takes to be a leader. Since coming to Georgia College, she has propelled her leadership skills in positive directions as co-founder of Bobcats Against Hunger, an Emerging Leader of the Year Award recipient, president of Omicron Delta Kappa and a Georgia Association of Colleges & Employers (GACE) Jack Mangham Award recipient.
As a first-year student, Fisher learned about the principles of leadership and how she could develop herself as a leader through the Emerging Leaders program. In her sophomore year, Fisher became a peer mentor for first-year Georgia College students to help them develop their leadership skills. She received the Emerging Leader of the Year award presented by Omicron Delta Kappa—a national leadership society, of which she now, as a senior, serves as president.
Fisher, a business marketing major, also completed the Leadership Certificate program and participated in the Georgia Education Mentorship (GEM) program.
“I would take what I learned and apply it outside of the classroom,” says Fisher. “And, that position was co-founding Bobcats Against Hunger.”
The concept began after she participated in a hunger packaging project in Atlanta. On the way home she and her fellow students strategized how they could make something like this work in Milledgeville.
With just seven students seated around Fisher’s kitchen table brainstorming for ideas on how to make a similar hunger project work in Milledgeville, the idea soon snowballed bringing forth 150 student volunteers.
“The first year, we had to raise $12,500,” said Fisher. “I’m surprised that people didn’t run away after hearing that. We had our leadership skills tested that year and had to be creative in making this work.”
Bobcats Against Hunger partnered with different campus organizations, local businesses and a church to raise funds. By the end of its second year, Bobcats Against Hunger raised $25,000 and packaged 100,000 meals for the nonprofit Feeding Children Everywhere, and the meals were received in Baldwin County.
During her senior year, Fisher made sure that Bobcats Against Hunger was placed in a position to stand without her as the co-director.
“Learning to let go was extremely hard,” said Fisher. “I hope that Georgia College students will continue to use it as a way to give back to the community.”
Fisher also enjoyed her leadership experience through the university’s GEM program. Her mentor was Georgia College & State University Foundation Trustee Alex Gregory, president and CEO and chair of YKK Corporation of America.
“I’ve learned a lot from him,” said Fisher. “He taught me to lead with humility and the importance of leading and treating people right.”
“McKenzie is an extraordinary servant leader,” says Gregory. “She has demonstrated more positive leadership while at Georgia College than most people experience in a lifetime. She is humble, honest, loyal, passionate, friendly, approachable and truly a beautiful human being – inside and out.”
Fisher was selected for the Jack Mangham Award by the GACE for her broad leadership experience and co-founding Bobcats Against Hunger.
She has held an internship with the Georgia College Leadership Programs for a little over two years and recently completed an internship over the past month with GovStrive, a federal consulting group. Upon graduation, Fisher plans to move to Atlanta and continue working for the company.
“I believe that before students begin internships they need to understand the importance of doing their best on every task thrown their way,” Fisher said. “I think in order to really get the most out of any internship, students need to realize that some of the most basic tasks can be the most transferable preparation for their career.”