Throughout my life I have gone through many experiences which have transformed me into a leader.
But what exactly do I mean when I say leader? Leaders are everywhere. There are many different types and some stand out more than others, but they all have several common qualities. Leaders have a desire to offer their knowledge, understanding, and abilities to others. They are hard-working, focused, and they strive to make a difference. Leaders are often admired for the things they do, and are inspirational to the people around them.
As for myself, I fall under the category of the less noticeable leaders. Although I do possess the mentioned characteristics, I am a fairly quiet girl so I try and make a difference in my own way. Instead of speaking out I tend to lead by example. I believe acting as a leader and volunteering is something you do because it makes you feel good about yourself. Knowing that you have had a positive impact on someone else’s life is extremely rewarding, and that is what motivates me to be involved in leadership activities.
All of my life I have been involved in soccer. This sport has taught me how to work with others towards a common goal, and to appreciate the different talents everyone has. In soccer it is impossible to win a game with only a single strong player. You need a full team of players who work together well in order to succeed. Each player has their own position and their own set of skills. When combined, they form the team. Through playing this sport you begin to understand how each player may not be the best at every aspect of the game, but they have strengths which are important to the team as a whole. This knowledge can easily be applied to work situations in real life.
Through my participation in competitive gymnastics, I have learned to manage my time well. For several years I trained 16 hours every week which, combined with my 5-6 hours of soccer and 4 hours of cheer, made my life extremely busy. Despite having this many hours of physical activity I managed to maintain high marks and actually achieved the highest average for my grade each year during junior high. On top of giving me good time management skills, gymnastics is how I became interested in volunteering. I have sold tickets/chocolates for the benefit of Campia Gymnastics Training Centre, assistant coached, collected money at the door for various events, worked in the canteen at competitions, and minor officiated at several meets.
After starting to volunteer at gymnastics, I was inspired to do other things in the community and at school. For example, I contributed to Paul Lane’s municipal election campaign by doing phone polls and was a member of the student leadership committee for my school in grade nine. This year I participated in the Run for the Cure and performed an aerial acrobatics act at a Breast Cancer fundraiser in Gander.
Currently I coach at Campia Gymnastics as a part-time job, which has probably contributed to my leadership abilities more than anything. Working with the young athletes I have to establish organized and well-planned lessons, teach new skills, direct warm-ups, provide spotting assistance, ensure the safety of the athletes, and offer useful feedback to both the athletes and their parents. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to pass on something that you are so passionate about, which for me is the sport of gymnastics, to other aspiring athletes who can benefit from your experience and knowledge. Sometimes as I watch my gymnasts pushing themselves to do their very best and following my instruction I picture myself as a young gymnast. It feels great knowing that I am providing these children with the same opportunities I was once given.
As I mentioned earlier, my leadership consists predominantly of setting an example for others. This comes from my academic performance and work ethic at school too. I was selected by teachers to take part in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens workshop due to my demonstration of leadership in the school setting. Last year I was awarded Level One Student of the Year for having the highest overall average, and I finished first on the Principal’s List out of over 700 students. This past December I was selected as Husky of the Month for excelling in all of my courses. Currently I am on top of the Principal’s List with a 98% average and I am taking several advanced courses. I always push myself to work hard and I am very driven to meet my potential. This makes me a role model for many of my fellow students, and that is why I am a leader at school.
In the future, I hope to pursue many more volunteer opportunities and I want to continue being an example for others to follow. As I have discussed above, many things in my life have made me someone that can be admired. The fact that I am not afraid to be different from everyone else and to show who I really am makes me strong. Despite my quiet personality, I will make a difference by being an inspiration to others and getting involved in both my community and school!