By Deepa Gulrajani, DC
THE MAGIC OF STUDENT AMERICAN CHIROPRACTIC ASSOCIATION (SACA) is that we identify areas of need and work collectively to find solutions. Not only have great strides been made, but we have learned that the process could be enjoyable because of the people we work with. Within our SACA community, we value and appreciate working together as a team. As Andrew Carnegie says, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
SACA, to me, is a community that comes together with clear goals and direction; it is a family that continues to grow after each leadership conference and National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC); and it is an organization that takes initiative to push the chiropractic profession in a positive direction.
SACA is filled with the most inspiring, hardworking and driven individuals. I believe that the future of the profession is in the hands of the greatest leaders I am privileged to work with.
Over the past year, our communications committee created our first-ever SACA Instagram account (@studentACA), worked to get students connected to Google Drive and initiated the use of Slack, an innovative and organized communications platform that allows committees to interact more easily. In addition, our online newsletter, The SACA Tribune, was born. This hard work by a relatively young committee shows how vision can come to fruition.
Our leadership conference chairs recently planned and executed a three-day event in Des Moines, Iowa, with 96 students from 15 chiropractic colleges. The theme of the event was “Putting Leadership Into Motion,” and it featured speakers who addressed session topics of “Conquer Adversity,” “Seize Opportunity” and “Propel Innovation.” Students and doctors left with great insight and renewed passion for their profession.
Students across the nation worked together to raise awareness for ACA’s initiatives. Our specialty councils committee features a different council each month by highlighting information about each that includes contact information, upcoming events and ways to get involved. One of the ways is through fundraising efforts. This committee raised significant funds.
The membership committee is also hard at work. Last fall, the committee debuted our first-ever SACA promotional video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9_9SMQbFCw). In addition, the committee worked with each chapter to address specific membership concerns and is working on initiatives to find solutions. The dedication to SACA’s mission and vision in these projects shows us how ideas can truly become a reality.
Last year, we also debuted our “Seasons of SACA” initiative – SACA Season of Service (May-August), SACA Season of Leadership (September-December) and SACA Season of Advocacy (January-April). Each chapter worked on various projects to emphasize each season. For example, during the SACA Season of Service, Palmer College of Chiropractic West worked in local nursing homes and food banks; Cleveland University – Kansas City spent time gardening in a local park and volunteering with farm animals; the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic spent time at veterans’ homes; NYCC helped plan the Dance Marrowthon and raised more than $12,000 for the National Marrow Donor Program; Parker University raised donations for a local shelter and facilitated a reunion for veterans; and the Florida campus of National University of Health Sciences volunteered at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. These activities demonstrate that providing service to our local communities is a high priority.
Our team, consisting of every SACA member, has allowed us to follow our goals and achieve one of the biggest accomplishments in SACA’s history: We had record-breaking student attendance at NCLC 2016 with 351 students, representing 15 different chiropractic colleges.
The caliber of work from this group of individuals is truly inspirational. To paraphrase futurist Ray Kurzweil, “Our intuition about the future is linear. But the reality is exponential, and that makes a profound difference.”
What we’ve accomplished thus far is only the beginning. While NCLC 2016 marked the end of a term for one group of leaders, I am excited to serve as immediate past chair with our new SACA national executive board. I will continue to stand with my fellow colleagues and encourage our members to keep making exponential changes within SACA on each campus and on a national level.