“Lead with authenticity. Don’t get so caught up in figuring out who you are that you throw away your core values.”
These are words of advice given by junior AnnaGrace Chandler, a current Florida Southern student and esteemed Resident Advisor, among many other things.
When Chandler walked into her RA team meeting on Jan. 24, she was met with an unexpected surprise. Unbeknownst to her, Chandler had been nominated for the Spirit of the Cornerstone Award by her RA team and won.
“It was a wonderful feeling to not only have one of my closest friends present me with the award but to also have the love and support from my team,” Chandler said. “I have always been an independent person who tried to work things out on my own and what I have learned in college is that I truly have such an incredible support system with people who will always advocate for me. This award really reminded me of that.”
Growing up in Sugar Hill, Ga., Chandler always knew she had a passion for learning.
“I pride myself on the love and dedication I have to the school,” states the current BFA theater performance major.
Chandler also minors in both business administration and communication and is very involved on campus. From working at the Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center teaching Group X classes, and serving as a Southern Ambassador and a Residential Advisor in JR, she is also involved in Greek life, rounding out a full schedule.
“It’s not easy to balance everything,” Chandler said. “But despite the feeling of sometimes being overwhelmed, I always try to go through my day with intention and kindness towards others.”
This dedication to her schedule and her campus is what sparked Chandler’s RA team to nominate her for the Spirit of the Cornerstone Award. The award is a nomination-based award given to those who most embody the tenets of the Florida Southern College Cornerstone during the academic year.
“Florida Southern seeks to create a community of scholars who hold one another accountable to the high ideals, vision, and mission of the college,” states the Florida Southern website in regards to this award.
It was clear to Chandler’s team that she embodied these values, as is evidently apparent in the way she conducts herself in her day-to-day life.
“I value not only treating others with respect but also myself,” Chandler said. “This applies to how I present in classes or work. I have several campus jobs that are all very different from one another, with each one I have learned to navigate many challenges – but with each job I trust my gut and prioritize the security of others.”
Even though Chandler jokes that being an RA has become her personality, she said her dedication has taught her many things.
“I learned how to be an active listener, learning when to give advice or when to simply just listen,” she said.
And at the end of the day, Chandler centers a lot of her core values around being authentic and kind to those around her. She loves a quote from Brene Brown’s book – The Gifts of Imperfections, that reflects just that.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make everyday. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”