On April 1, 2023, three women leaders from Maxwell Air Force Base facilitated a three-hour Team Building workshop at the Air Force Professional Development Center for middle and high school girls in the Women in Training Leadership Development Academy’s new Monarch Cohort. Master Sergeant Ashley Marshall, 42 Air Base Wing Development Advisor, managed the workshop.
“My colleagues and I were happy to facilitate this Team Building workshop for Women in Training to help develop others, and to better ourselves as individuals, as leaders and as women,” Master Sergeant Marshall said. “It brings me joy to grow and learn with these young ladies.”
Master Sergeant Marshall led the Introduction and Ice Breaker activities to help the girls in the new Monarch Cohort get to know each other better. She also facilitated a Team Building exercise by dividing the group of 20 Monarchs into four groups of five to construct the tallest freestanding structure. Each group only had one yard of string, 20 spaghetti sticks, one yard of tape, and one marshmallow. The goal was for them to work together, leveraging each other’s strengths to accomplish the goal, without deforming the marshmallow.
Chief Master Sergeant Tiffany Jackson-Foster, Commandant, Center for Faculty and Staff, Enlisted Professional Military Instructor Course, facilitated the segment on Team Dynamics and Roles.
“The strength of the team is each individual member.
The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson
Although knowing your team’s personality traits and skills is essential, learning how to celebrate them is most important, emphasized Chief Master Sergeant Tiffany Jackson-Foster.
“During the spaghetti challenge with Master Sergeant Marshall, I was able to showcase the strengths of every member and how that WIT Young Leader played a part in the success of their mission,” said Chief Master Sergeant Tiffany Jackson-Foster. “Always take a second look at who is on your team.”
Chief Master Sergeant Tiffany Jackson-Foster continued: “What if I told you the quiet or shy person on your team is a massive thinker, and if you ask them what ideas they had, they would blow your mind? What if I told you the most vocal person in your group would be the last person to give up on someone or the team’s project because, deep down, success is not in the finished project but in the process of not giving-up?”
Chief Master Sergeant Alexius Reid, Senior Enlisted Leader, Vice-Commandant, Community College of the Air Force, facilitated a Mentorship Moment.
“Building upon WIT’s Mission and Core Values, it was important for me to highlight and affirm the incredibly potent and unique talents, strengths, and abilities these young leaders (already) possess—all of which make them capable, ideal mentors in their communities, and in their sphere of influence, regardless of age, gender, or economic standing.”
The Air Force leaders recognized two WIT Young Leaders for their exemplary contribution to the Team Building workshop. They awarded Monarch Finn Laurel McKenny from Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet High School for earning the Most Points on the Ice Breaker activity. They also awarded Monarch Ashlyn Spooney from Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School for Integrity.
Two Air Force volunteers, Technical Sergeant Ke-Undra Gibson, Program Manager for the Maxwell-Gunter Base Honor Guard, and Airman First Class Doneesha Pressley, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, supported the facilitators and the Monarchs during the workshop.
Here’s what a few of the WIT Young Leaders from the Monarchs Cohort had to say about the Team Building experience:
Monarch Elizabeth Garrison; Baldwin Arts and Academic Middle Magnet School
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to be able to meet some of the other girls in WIT. Even though I didn’t meet everybody, it was still a great experience!”
Monarch Emerie Hedgspeth; Prattville High School
"I truly enjoyed the workshop at the Maxwell Air Force Base because I feel like it gave me a chance to connect with other girls like me."
Monarch Finn Laurel McKenny; Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet High School
"I had a great time at the Team Building experience at the Maxwell Air Force Base! It was informative an helped me get to know my fellow Monarchs!"
Ashlyn Spooney; Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School
"Wow! I am so glad to have the opportunity to be involved in such an amazing development experience. The other group members were so welcoming and the trainers provided a wonderful opportunity for us to get to know each other through hands-on activities. The activities were fun and engaging and helped us on our journey to a lasting bond."
Jordyn Spooney; Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School
"The workshop was exciting. I honestly had no idea what to expect, but thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was glad that I was given the chance to make new friendships and look forward to everything we will do together to improve our community and end period poverty."
Monarch Micah Young; LAMP Academic Magnet High School
"The Team Building workshop at the Maxwell Air Force Base was a wonderful experience, because I was able to further explore my gifts as a leader and was able to experience connecting with all of the other Monarchs, building connections for our future advocacy work."
Monarch Miriam Young; LAMP Academic Magnet High School
I felt that the Team Building workshop at Maxwell Air Force Base showed me more about my interests and showed me how to express myself more to new people."
Enjoy photos from the workshop!