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ISLO: A Pathway to Success

By Katelyn Wiley

As college students we all want to meet new people, get involved with the school, and have fun. The best way to do all three of these things at the same time would be to join a school club.

Now when it comes to joining a school club you have to make sure you pick the perfect one for you.The sensible idea would be to choose a club related towards one’s passions and field of study, such as a theater major joining a drama club.

This allows college students to work with what they love and build a better knowledge on the subject. Others join clubs simply to get involved and to have fun while on campus, like the Latin Dance Club. Finally, some join clubs to gain knowledge on a new topic or to help others.

The International Student Leadership Organization, ISLO for short, is a club founded by Estella Mountain Community College (EMCC) students who had the urge to make a difference and it has been a successful club ever since.

Makayla Sullivan, the communication officer for the ISLO Club says, “The International Student Leadership Organization is a club that volunteers at community and school events. It’s where we learn how to become leaders by helping out others.”

As a member of the ISLO Club students not only participate in events planned out by the ISLO Club but also with clubs throughout the campus. The ISLO Club is there to help out other clubs and make sure events go well while also showing their support in the community by attending local events.

Cindy Gilles, the president of the ISLO Club says, “The International Student Leadership Organization Club helps broaden cultural awareness and offers personal development and leadership skills.”

“The international part of ISLO is that we invite everyone of every culture to join our club and have a place to be able to be themselves. We have a lot of people who came from other countries or even if our parents or ancestors came from another country.”  Sullivan explains why it is called International Students leadership organization.

“The international part plays a huge role in ISLO. Half of our volunteer events that we volunteer at are at different cultural events. Like we volunteer at the Irish Cultural Festival, Russian Festival and just other international festivals and events.”

In the month of November 2013 the ISLO Club has helped and participated in several events such as the International Festival where they showed students multicultural experiences from all over the world. During this event they planned for cultural arts, arts and crafts, live performances, study abroad program, and a fashion show for students to learn about different cultures.

The ISLO Club also went to the Saint Mary’s Food Bank around Thanksgiving to help them with whatever they needed, knowing that the food bank would be extremely busy around such a holiday. With this major holiday taking place they were also participating in “No Turkey Left Behind” at the Sun City Health and Rehabilitation Center where they met new people and participated in actives to give back the community.

An example of a past event that ISLO held to help the community was during the International Health Expo. “My favorite event I volunteered at was the International Heath Expo at Estrella. We taught students about how rice is a main staple for some countries and we just talked about all the different facts about rice,” stated Sullivan.

However, ISLO is not only about giving back to the community, but becoming a leader, “My favorite activity we did was that we had a professor who taught at Estrella help us take a personality quiz and he explained what our results were and what our specific qualities and weaknesses are.”

As you can tell by the list of activities above the ISLO club strives to help others which does not only give them a good feeling of knowing they help someone but the ISLO club has a lot of more benefits. Some benefits of joining the ISLO club would be volunteer hours, “You get to volunteer and put that on your resume. It looks very good, especially if you are applying for a leadership position,” said Makayla Sullivan.

With the workforce becoming more difficult to join we need an extra boost for support and the ISLO club is a great way to achieve it. However, job resumes are not the only benefit of joining. The ISLO Club is a great club to place on college applications.

The International Student Leadership Organization Club meets on Tuesdays afternoons from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Plaza Gallery located next to the Career and Transfer Center. If helping out the community and your school while learning to better your understanding of different cultures sounds like an interesting activity to you, send an email to Cindy Gilles at

Once you do this she will simply ask for your information and begin to send you emails to let you know of events and meetings. “We are a very active group and there are no fees to join and no requirements,” says Gilles.