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 3

A regular night around four years ago, I remember sitting in front of my computer and reviewing all my unread emails. I came across the 20/20 leadership first-year application. I recall looking through the application website and seeing that this opportunity was for outstanding students with strong leadership skills. At the time, it was hard for me to believe in myself. An exemplary leader to me was and still is someone capable of influencing and working with other individuals through characteristics like learning agility, strong communication, presentability, and empowerment of others. All these qualities and characteristics were just the outline of someone I aspired to become eventually. However, the opportunity of joining 20/20 Leadership for four years now gave me the guidance and sustainability to become a leader with those attributes that have now made me a more outgoing person with professional standards towards my community. This program has opened me to various events and mentors, contributing knowledge, connections, and resources. It’s hard for someone like me, the oldest daughter of low-income immigrant parents, to know what steps to take to advance in my academic life. During each occasion that I get to meet the students from other partnering schools or the professionals who come and visit us, I learn and open my mentality to ideas and opportunities that I would’ve never thought were out there for student leaders. I have noticed that many people come back to the program to share their experience and how the program helped them. This program and the mentors in it revolve around making this generation better each time. The mentors seem to have lived through many phases that I am experiencing, and through each speech that is given, I always find an answer to my problems; they help me gain hope and keep going. Through multiple college and career fair events that the 20/20 Leadership program sponsored, I became interested in becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist. Like many alums who come back and inform the community of their career and experiences, I want to do the same. Once I become an anesthetist nurse, I plan to return to the career and event fairs hosted by 20/20 Leadership. I want to serve as a connection for the future generation who aspires to become someone in life. I want to be a guide for all the minorities in this program and in the community who do not know how or where to start. I want to be a leader for all the younger people who plan to be part of the 20/20 Leadership program, just like me right now. I know a lot of other students are nervous and scared of the steps to take and what the future holds for us. I need to be brave and be the first-generation college graduate in my family to then come back and reflect on the barriers I crossed. I desire to reduce the frustration in students who also want to pursue a healthcare career and hopefully be part of that bridge that connects the students to internships or other opportunities that can bring them closer to the medical community. When it comes to leaving a legacy, it’s more than just being known in the program when I return as a nurse. I want to have an immense impact directly on individuals. Leaving a legacy is more powerful when it directly impacts an individual’s life and life outcomes. One by one, I want to help future 20/20 Leadership students who dream of working in healthcare.