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 19

At first, being invited to the 20/20 leadership program I did not think much of it. I thought it would be a program to help students make money from scholarships and not much more. So my Junior year I did not join the program since it was also aligning with my math class which I wanted to take. Senior year I was informed about the program much more from my siblings, upperclassmen, and teachers which made me realize there is much more to the program than just the scholarships. Thankfully I was invited by my teacher to join the program again and so I joined the program.
During my time in the 20/20 leadership program, I have learned so much and improved many skills. Every class, every field trip, and even every encounter with someone helped me become a better leader. I used to think leadership was about being a strong person and having people follow in your footsteps. But there is much more to being a leader, it is a responsibility one has to endure to ensure the guidance of others. To be a great leader you have to be respectful, courageous, passionate, and full of integrity. Learning what being a leader is all about was the first step for me to become a better leader. After learning what leadership is, I practiced the skills that it takes to become one. 20/20 leadership helped me achieve that by pushing me out of my comfort zone and making me talk to others more. It also helped me with public speaking and becoming more comfortable with embracing a new idea.
After becoming a better leader, I started wanting to help others become better leaders. I can not sit with every person and teach them everything, but by leaving a legacy it shows people that you can achieve anything you wish to do. It shows them how an average person who came from the same place they did can achieve things and be a leader, then perhaps they can too. It gives people the motivation to try new things and learn something new, to search for the guidance of becoming a great leader. The first thing people think of when seeing the legacy a person left behind is how they achieved it, and what obstacles they had to overcome to achieve what they wanted. Then they compare that to their own situation and help them think of ways to achieve their goal.
In my four years of high school, I always struggled with practicing Islam during school. As a practicing Muslim, I have to pray five times a day and two of the five prayers are during school. I and other practicing Muslims always found it hard to find a peaceful spot in school to pray. I always thought, why is there nowhere for people to pray in a peaceful place? But now that I am capable and have the courage to leave a big legacy behind I talked to multiple teachers and the principal to make something happen. I want to build a peaceful room in my school for people to pray in and it can be any religion. That will be my legacy that I will leave behind me and hopefully inspire others to do the same and better.