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Stories from CAELI: Learning to Listen to My Gut

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Mar 05, 2015

In our Stories from CAELI series, Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI) alumni share their insights from their own CAELI experiences. Our first post comes from José Ochoa, executive and artistic director of the Chicago High School for the Arts in Chicago, IL. José is a member of the CAELI Class of 2013 and will be returning this year as practitioner faculty. You can also hear from José and other CAELI alumni on our upcoming Application Orientation Webinar, March 10 at 1:00PM ET. Register

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Why did you decide to apply to CAELI?

My goal was to transition from being a start-up leader to an executive who can take ChiArts to new levels of stability and continued growth, while also navigating uncertain economies and changes in Chicago's demographic, educational, and artistic landscapes.
 
Describe an “aha” moment you experienced during your seven months of CAELI:
 
Many of the most powerful moments I experienced centered on communication: How I communicate with others, how I interpret what others are trying to communicate with me, and even listening to my gut and what the world is trying to tell me.
 
How would you say your participation in CAELI has impacted you and your organization?
 
Through CAELI I gained a thorough understanding of how my personality relates to my leadership, specifically how it relates to my decision-making. I am now able to identify and harness specific personal attributes of mine when they are helpful, and temper them when they are not. This has enabled me to be more strategic in my planning and execution of organizational change.
 
What does being a part of our network of CAELI alumni mean to you?
 
I've enjoyed meeting other CAELI alumni and keeping up with cohorts from my own class. CAELI is a special and personal experience and all alumni seem to have a unique bond. I know I have an automatic network of peers that I can call on when I need advice or support.
 
What is unique about CAELI compared to other professional development opportunities you’ve had?
 
CAELI is highly personal. The program really allows you to understand that professional challenges and opportunities are tied to who you are as a person.
 
Is there anything else you feel a prospective applicant should know or consider before applying?
 
CAELI can be a very personal experience and you should be prepared to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you really want to move forward professionally, CAELI is a powerful way to understand what barriers are hindering your growth.
 
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The deadline to apply to CAELI is April 9, 5:00PM ET. Click here to learn more and here to register for our upcoming Application Orientation Webinar (March 10, 1:00PM ET).


Pictured Above: Students at ChiArts

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