“The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river. “ ~ Ross Perot, American businessman and former United States Presidential candidate.
In my eyes, a leader is an intelligent, open, passionate, positive, driven, and respected individual who has the ability to inspire and bring together a group of people in order to achieve a common goal.
A true leader is not someone who just dictates to others on what to do. They are just as involved in hard labor and not so seemingly “pretty” aspects just as anyone else. They do not gain leadership positions for the fame and fortune, but with the overall mindset to create change.
Leadership often demands sacrifices including their time, money, and sometime friends. But it is often required in order to reach their goal and commit one hundred percent to their responsibilities.
Depending on the area, leaders have the roles of overseeing a group of people and making sure those individuals get along with one another. They also have to make sure that working is getting done and their group is moving forward to their common goal. Leaders ensure everyone has the opportunity to share their opinions in group meetings or at any given opportunity. Leaders are also the main speaker and representative of the group, so they must be presentable and set a positive example.
I have been involved in leadership type activities since the age of eleven beginning with my involvement in an elective class, where students were taught the basics of leadership in the 6th grade. My main purpose of enrolling in that class was for it to be a stepping stone into student government for that year. I spent the two semesters working with teachers and becoming involved in activities at the school. Though I did not win the student government position of Commissioner of Student Activities that year, I did become the point guard of the girl’s basketball team the following semester, where we won the league championship (The first time in fact in over 20 years). And in 8th grade, I finally gained that position in student government as the Commissioner of Health & Safety.
In high school, the involvement in activities only grew and my leadership continued to develop. By the end of my high school career, I was a 4 year member of the Speech & Debate team, 4 year member of MESA (Math Engineering Science Academy), 4 year member of AVID (Advance Via Individual Determination), 4 year member of MESA Leadership, 3 year member of the environmental club, 3 year member of Girls’ League, 2 year member of AVID Leadership, 2 year member of Science Olympiad, one year member of Campus service club, and one year member of the Academic Decathlon team. In these organizations, I served everything from President to historian to treasurer. These activities put my leadership skills to the test from areas varying from problem-solving to gaining the trust and respect of my peers. And at Whittier, I have only grown more.
At Whittier, I believe that with the support of the staff, friends, and especially faculty, I have developed the most as a leader. I have peers and professors who I can look up to and go to for advice of situations. My job and club activities have put these newly gained leadership skills to the test.