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 16

During my journey through leadership, I have learned so much information on how to grow. During the different field trips, I learned a lot about financial literacy, government literacy, and various other topics essential to life. One of my favorite field trips was the government day. Although this field trip was dedicated to juniors, we as seniors got the opportunity to come along. We learned so much about how everything works at the city, county, and state level. We were able to grasp the difficult decisions that have to be made and how important it is for every registered voter and citizen over 18 to vote.

I have always had the slightest interest in politics especially when it directly affects me as a woman or as a black woman. One thing I took with me was that Just having a discussion with people about a problem will not get that problem solved. It will only just open the door. You have to take the problem up. You have to express your feelings and worries to those who will listen and produce the change. That field trip taught me to be more confident in my voice and my opinion. You also have to be consistent as well. If they don’t listen the first time, shout it again, and get other people to advocate with you. This is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

As I carry on to college and after, I will use the information I have gained from leadership as my building blocks. I refer to building blocks as the guidance and information used to get through unfamiliar situations. A few things I consider my building blocks include active listening, problem-solving, critical thinking, and relationship-building. I will use those building blocks in the organizations I decide to join as a way to spread knowledge to others. I want to be able to leave an impact so that the people behind me can come in and use those same building blocks and expand them.

Leaving a legacy means leaving behind a strong force that allows others to build from. A force that invites other communities inside to achieve their own set of goals. Leaving a legacy does not mean to gatekeep the pathway to greatness, leaving a legacy allows for everyone to see for themselves what it is like to have the resources available. Leaving a legacy also allows for networking. When people see you put the effort into making an impact, they will want to open doors for you. They will want to create an easier path for you and people like you to make a change in the world. For me to leave such a legacy, I’ll have to use all the skills and knowledge I’ve gained in 20/20 leadership to help me. I need to build strong relationships and connections with people now because they can help me in the future. I wouldn’t be able to do this without 20/20 leadership. This program has presented many opportunities for me to network and grow my connections with others. I greatly appreciate all of the staff and hope that others who join the program can see it the same way I do.