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Leadership is not only the ability to guide but more so the ability to create and unveil the possibility in the impossible. Leaders can do everything they can to steer budding leaders in a direction, but if those they lead see no innovation, no path, all their work is for naught. I believe that being a leader and having leadership is directing future leaders to paving new paths in directions most see impossibility. It is not about leading people into a way of thinking or continuing to forge a certain path, but instead, encouraging people to carve a new ideal and a new way of thinking. Leading means guiding people to break through the majority’s doubt and discouragement by going through existing doors and opening new ones.. Leadership means looking at a steel wall and encouraging others to see the many ways to walk through it.
Therefore, I believe being a leader means facilitating the growth of leadership. Very often, people believe that leaderships means being at the forefront, having the largest and most prominent voice, and initiating action. However, the way I see it, the best leaders are those people who are in the back of the crowd encouraging everyone to move forward. The best leaders are not those who simply lead but create leaders. Of course leadership means being an initiator, but that is not all that leadership encompasses. For a true leader does not only stand and lead, but also follows to ensure purpose continues and messages are effective. A true leader does not lead simply through an extraordinary presence but through passion and inspiring action.
Effective and purposeful leadership has been a very important part of my life; I do my best to stick to this belief. I have served as a leader in most groups and organizations that I have been a part of, and the organizations I find myself in today at UCLA are not any different. I am currently a recognized student leader in the largest Pilipino organization on campus, Samahang Pilipino (SP), as a staff member in Samahang Pilipino Education and Retention (SPEAR) program. As a new student on campus this year, I would not regularly have the chance to be in this position but due to extenuating circumstances, I was able to seize the opportunity. However, simply having this position does not make me a leader. I am a leader at UCLA because I fight for change and seek to open doors for students they feel are otherwise closed for them. For example, I have been told it is not often that a transfer student, much less a first year transfer student, is part of SP leadership, a group highly recognized for making waves on campus. Transfer students tend to feel very limited in the opportunities they hope to pursue due to the short time they have on campus. Being in this position helps to elevate my presence, break the stigma placed on transfers, and help show students like me that the possibilities are endless when you have the right push. In my eyes, I can and will create that push of inspiration for others to see the opportunities ahead.
A true leader leaves a legacy of leaders. Therefore, I strive to create a legacy of inspiration. In everything I do, I aspire to inspire. I want to leave a legacy of passion for everything I do that cannot help but be seen as a model due to the joy and determination I convey in my work. My leadership is not mainly measured by my personal moments of achievement, but by the people I inspire through those achievements. I want to be a leader who ignites a fire in others to strive for their own legacy.
Post Submitted By Our Scholarship Winner: Mary Kay De Guzman