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 8

As I participated in 20/20 Leadership, I have grown tremendously as a leader. Throughout the school year, I found out what kind of leadership style I have, how I can use my skills to lead a team productively, and how to motivate others without making them feel belittled and pressured. I have learned that being a leader is not about having full authority over individuals and ordering them around simply because I have control. True leadership is represented through actions. Whenever I lead a group in a project, I let my teammates participate in the decision-making process. We create relationships and build trust. Most importantly, I don’t just supervise from aside, but instead, I’ve learned to take a role in the work process and help when they ask me to. 

One important exercise we completed in Leadership 20/20 was identifying the style of leader we are. As I reflected on my character and did research, I matched most as a transformational leader. This means that I try to encourage team members to reach their potential. With this new information about myself, I will focus more on expanding my style and using it to my advantage.

I will use what I have been taught during this unique experience to work with others in my career and be able to move up the ladder. If I want to increase my chances of growing in my profession, I need to have skills that will make me stand out and prove that I would be an exceptional part of the management team. This is important, especially in the Aerospace Engineering field – my intended career – because there is a lack of diversity and decreases my chances of being selected as a hispanic female. While companies may deny these allegations, it is the dark reality of today’s society. 

Leaving a legacy to me means creating a significant impact in your group which will help or inspire others throughout the years. It is important for young leaders like me to leave a mark in the places we care most about because it allows us to find value within ourselves. Many people think that in order to be a role model for others we need to make a huge difference such as helping hundreds of people or donating a lot of money, but in reality, it’s all about dedication and effort. If we are able to make a change in places like school, work, or volunteering organizations, we are still leaving a legacy behind in those locations.

As I reflect on my character before and after joining 20/20 leadership, I can see how much I have improved not only as a leader, but as a person as a whole. I am proud of who I have become. I plan to continue growing intellectually and emotionally as I go to college and eventually, my dream job. I hope that my story is used as inspiration for the many other young girls who will be in the same place as me. One day, I will come back to where I was raised, and give back a little of what I was given, finally leaving my legacy.