Skip to main content

Leadership Lessons from Students and Robots

By Rosaura Estrada

Cristo Rey Dallas Engineering Club

The Latino Educator and Administrator Development Program (LEAD) aims to form, advance, and retain Latino educators in Catholic schools. During the one-year LEAD fellowship, educators participate in leadership formation through online modules and monthly meetings with a Latino mentor and small group of fellow educators. In the spring, LEAD Fellows work on an empowerment project, a project which asks them to identify a need in their school community and develop a plan to meet that need.

LEAD 3 Fellow Rosaura Estrada, a teacher at Cristo Rey Dallas, shares 5 leadership lessons she learned through her LEAD empowerment project.

Rosaura-Estrada_HeadshotI joined LEAD in order to grow as a leader so that I could better support my students. In LEAD, one of the books that we read was True Leadership (from The Habiger Institute for Catholic Leadership). We learned about “true leadership” as a way to follow Jesus’ way of leading through a philosophy based upon the five building blocks of Catholic leadership. They are, in order of importance, (1) faith; (2) character; (3) vocation; (4) gifts; and (5) skills.

Through our empowerment project, we were called to apply our leadership to create a positive impact and to empower our students and ourselves to make changes at our school. For my empowerment project, I decided to start a robotics team here at Cristo Rey Dallas.

I’m happy to share that we just finished the first year of CRD robotics! Our team competed at a number of meets and we also won the Judge's Choice Award. I want to thank the LEAD team because, in terms of leadership development, this empowerment project helped me learn so much!

Here are some of my biggest leadership takeaways from this year:

A leader has to be willing to share all the gifts God has given.

I had to write grants, drive students, buy lunch, etc., in order to bring this vision to life.

The more I leaned on and had faith in others, the greater the vision became.

My brother mentored us, two fellow co-teachers helped by teaching us design and how to use the 3-D printer, and next year, the English teacher is going to teach our students about technical reports and how to make them outstanding.

The more you answer the call to serve with others, the more the world opens up.

We worked and competed alongside students from all over, such as the Islamic student associations, as well as the  winning team, who had competed in Germany and was comprised of many students from China. My students had the opportunity to engage with other people around the city that they wouldn't have otherwise met.

The more one fails, the more one learns and grows in character.

My students won the Judge's Choice Award for having emphasized this very lesson. Despite all the issues we dealt with, such as scheduling and fundraising, we built a moving robot!

The impossible is possible with God's grace.

We have to keep the faith strong to keep going. Even my own students doubted they would get everything to work, but they made it happen! They didn’t give up, they asked for help when they needed it, and I personally grew in my belief that God is there in times of tribulation.

Cristo Rey Dallas_Engineering Club

I just wanted to share this update since we just finished our last competition of the season. We're going to continue meeting, but I wanted to share with our community all of the amazing blessings that have come out of this project.

Thank you to LEAD for helping me and pushing me to make this happen!


If you'd like to learn more about the Latino Educator and Administrator Development Program, please contact LEAD Coordinator Kenna Arana. (


Learn more about LEAD

Interested in learning more about the Catholic School Advantage?

Learn more about CSA and apply online now.

Learn More