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 6

My first two years of high school were full of anxiety. I did not know how to get out of my comfort zone. I struggled a lot, causing me not to be involved in my school. I thought I was safer this way since I did not have to be out there. My Junior year changed everything. I joined 20/20 Leadership. I was skeptical at first as this was my first time doing this. Since I have not been involved in my past years of high school I thought I would not get in, since I am not a leadership matiral. When I got my acceptance email I was ecstatic. I had a gigantic opportunity on my hands. We were introduced to our Junior Olympics project. This project changed my high school life. I found my voice in this project. I put my foot down and made sure I was involved in this project. We created a Multicultural Club. I took on the role of presenting this in front of high schools located in the Metro KC area. Freshman me would have never imagined me doing this. After doing this presentation I have not been scared of public speaking. Finding my voice helped me become a leader, thanks to 20/20 leadership. I have vouched for my club many times. I went to our principal making sure our events got approved and made sure I took a leadership role in the events we hosted. Becoming a leader has opened many doors for me, like being confident in what major I pick. I decided to pursue my higher education in Psychology. Being someone who spent most of my life having this social anxiety I would like to help students that suffer from mental illness. This is what makes me want to become a psychologist. Knowing that some students deal with the same problems I did makes me want to help them. I want to be the person I needed when I was younger. I wish to help my community in a bigger way after high school. I plan to help my community by becoming a psychologist. This has been something I wanted since I was in middle school dealing with my mental illness. I do not wish to dwell on them but to make them something bigger. I wish to help teenagers like me and help my community with their mental health battles by becoming a psychologist. That is what a legacy means to me. Helping your community strive to be something better. It is using your past experiences to expand who you are. I will use the lessons and wisdom I gained from high school to live my own legacy. Overall 20/20 Leadership opened doors for me like no other organization has. It has helped me become a true leader. By becoming a true leader I became myself. I am not scared to show people who I truly am. I learned that my voice matters and to not be ashamed of who I am, but embrace it.