Everyone has a passion that defines who they are and signifies their ability to change an element in their life for the greater good. FCCLA has defined my role as a leader, community member, friend, family member, and student.
As a demure freshman walking into the largest high school in Colorado, my anxiety to be a successful, well-rounded student was magnified. Although most freshmen struggle to find their niche, I was immediately matched to an organization that provides community service opportunities and leadership development, while addressing societal issues facing teens. As an optimistic student, I was willing to dedicate my time to an organization that makes an impact on not just those who are members, but on every person in the United States.
On the first Thursday of September 2013, I sat by myself in the lecture hall for Cherry Creek High School FCCLA’s first chapter meeting. With such a busy schedule that included academics, extracurricular activities, and a social life, I came to realize that my true goals were to break out of my shell and leave a legacy that would motivate students to try new experiences that offer pathways to a successful future. Thankfully, as I became more involved in FCCLA, I slowly chipped away that introvert shell. Constantly motivated to reach new heights in my leadership potentials, I took every opportunity that was given to me. I ran to become a chapter officer for Cherry Creek FCCLA. This opportunity transformed me into a determined, empowering, confident leader, and role model for all 3,700 students at my high school. With the confidence of becoming chapter treasurer, I decided to run for state office. My goal to become more extroverted and develop my leadership allowed me to focus on the experience of running for state office rather than the opportunities that becoming a state officer can provide. I was honored to be elected as the 2015-2016 Colorado FCCLA Secretary.
Looking back on my experience, I realized that before I found FCCLA, I downgraded my abilities because of my fear of failure. Throughout my experience of being Colorado FCCLA’s Secretary, I realized that not only was I qualified to lead over 2,000 middle and high school students across Colorado, but also that my dedication to FCCLA influenced my peers to become more involved as well. Furthermore, I decided to expand my leadership horizons and run for the most coveted leadership position in FCCLA: becoming a national officer.
The lengthy process of interviews, tests, and speeches pushed my abilities to be a skillful and poised student. The knowledge I gained through the election process is more valuable than the title I now have as the 2016-2017 National First Vice-President. I was honored to develop into a leader who makes decisions for over 160,000 FCCLA members across the United States and its territories. Regardless of any position that I hold, I am fortunate to be an influential leader that can change the negative mindset many teenagers possess about responsibility and prove that with hard work and dedication, responsibility becomes an honor rather than an obligation.