ESSAY PROMPT: Please compose a 500-600 word essay that addresses each of the following questions: Reflecting on your participation in the 20/20 Leadership program, how have you grown as a leader? How will you use what you’ve learned in the future? What does “leaving a legacy” mean to you?

Alumni 13

Ever since I’ve been in 20/20 leadership, my leadership skills have grown expeditiously. 20/20 leadership has taught me so many things I need to be a leader. In this club, I’ve learned how to network, how to communicate socially, how to take charge of what needs to be done, and how to be more empathetic. I’ve always had issues with my community but I’ve never actually taken the chance to try and solve it myself. While out on one of the field trips 20/20 leadership held, we met a couple of elected officials in the Missouri city council. I talked to Ms. Rayna Parks-Shaw about the issues my community has been going through because she’s the voice of my community. She let me know what I can do to help my community and some steps I can take to make a change. I never would’ve had the courage to ask her these questions or the motivation to make my community a better and safer place to live in had it not been for the skills and environment 20/20 leadership taught me. I felt confident asking the questions I did and I was firm in what I wanted to be changed. I felt motivated to help my community out in any way I could. That wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for 20/20 leadership. I wouldn’t have even had the opportunity to meet her. 20/20 leadership has opened up many opportunities for me to grow mentally and emotionally as the future leader of my community.

In the future, I plan to use all the skills, knowledge, and resources gained through 20/20 leadership to help me better my community. The dreams I have for the future of my community are big. My community struggles a lot with gun violence, homelessness, and substance abuse. I realized that there weren’t many community-based organizations being created but businesses and stores were being built that intensified the issue of gun violence, homelessness, and substance abuse. In the future, I plan to open up a rehabilitation center for those struggling with substance abuse. It’ll also be used as a shelter, a healthcare center, and a place where people can go to get their lives back on track. The people I connect with, speak to, and network with can give me words of advice, tips, or just moral support. Meeting people who are also interested in the healthcare field can help me improve my plan or teach me some things that I haven’t learned or heard about yet. In the rehabilitation center, we’ll help them with things such as getting an education, getting a stable job, finding a place to call home, and more! My community has taught me so much in these past few years and I can’t wait to repay them with this.

Leaving a legacy means a lot to me if it has helped others in some sort of way. I don’t want to leave behind a legacy that’s tainted or impactful. I want my legacy to motivate people to continue it. I want there to be proof of my legacy, not just stories. To leave such a legacy, there are lots of things I need to do. I’m not a perfect person and there are so many things I need to learn to be a good leader and to leave an impactful legacy on my community, and I’m excited to learn them all with 20/20 leadership by my side.