Failure to Success

Jen Boydston
Regional Vice President

“You learn more from failure than from success. Don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character.” The author of this quote is unknown, but I could have easily written it.  This quote could not be more true. It has helped me realize that it was the difficult decisions and failures that I went through that helped build my character and shape me into the person I am today. My experience as a single mother, a chapter officer, and a campus ambassador have helped me become more comfortable in the role of Regional Officer. I hope that each member of PTK is able to see that it all it takes is stepping out of your comfort zone and the desire to help your chapter to see the amazing leader you can become. If it was not for PTK, I would not have made life-long friends, had the opportunity to become a stronger leader, or felt that I was part of something bigger.


After accepting my membership into Phi Theta Kappa, I was unsure as to what it was all about and how it would change my life. Shortly after my first chapter meeting, I found myself at Fox Valley Tech for the Spring conference watching my chapter members receive awards for their hard work during the year. I was hooked and started to create friendships and some of those friendships are still going strong.  Without those friendships I would not have been able to have as successful of a year as a chapter officer as I did last year.


Phi Theta Kappa has opened so many doors for me that would never have been opened. I have been able to meet and lobby in Madison with Senators and Legislators for issues that are important to us as students. I was able to travel to Catalyst in Kansas City and Orlando two years in a row. I have work closely with the administration on projects on my campus. I also had the opportunity to work in our STEM center, Den, and Student Leadership Center. If it wasn’t Phi Theta Kappa, I would never have thought about these opportunities or even taken them on.

Something More

When I started to get active in my chapter and then active in the region. I started to feel that I was part of a family. This feeling is one that is hard to describe. After going through a very rough period in my life and being isolated from my family for five years it is an amazing feeling to not only have my personal family back in my life again but also have an extended family with all of my Phi Theta Kappans. There is something special about all of us that is hard to describe, but the best way to describe it is that we are all one big happy family.

Phi Theta Kappa has given me friendships, opportunities and family.  Think back to that quote again: “You learn more from failure than from success. Don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character.” Can you see how PTK can help you succeed and give you opportunities?  Because even if you fail, PTK will be there to help you build you back up.