Leadership and Legacy

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**For more information on the prompt that inspired this piece please visit here**

I define leadership as the capacity to translate vision into reality. A leader is defined not by his official title, but is instead defined by his value to the community, or his role in a mission. I believe leadership is highly misinterpreted in today’s society because of the current “leaders” we are surrounded by daily. I believe a leader has a close relationship to his surroundings and listens to the voices around him to make well-informed decisions that will affect the lives of many people. A leader thinks for communities and beyond, and does not possess a mind that is focused on the self. A leader takes everyone’s situation personally in an attempt to create solutions to problems at a large scale. A leader at UCLA makes the first move, and does not wait around, waiting for change to create itself.

The role I play in local communities and at UCLA resemble the same characteristics with which I define a leader. I currently mentor in high schools that are populated with students from underprivileged communities, with a vision to make an impact on the lives of these kids that lack hope from their school system. I believe that the greatest impacts are made on the individual level and strongly believe that all forms of change must initiate at the level of the individual before moving on to larger groups. I define myself as a leader not only because of the actions I am taking in communities, but because of the vision of equality I have for specific minority groups who undergo numerous political, social, and economic constraints. This eagerness to aid the students and people of our future is what allows me to place myself in a leadership role, and is what allows me to motivate and spark leadership in each and every individual I come into contact with.

Leadership is inspiring others to believe and pursue your vision within the parameters you set. Leadership is the extent to which that vision becomes a shared effort, a shared vision, and a shared success.Leadership is the act of taking a stand in order to encourage and inspire others to move with you. It does not come with title or positional power, but is instead achieved through focusing on a powerful mission of change and difference. I hold this view very strongly because I consider myself a symbol of change and triumph. I have utilized my past to inspire others and will continue to develop personal growth in my community until I can no longer carry myself. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

The legacy I would like to leave behind is the lesson of how important it is to obtain academic success. I would like to be remembered as someone who always strove for uplifting the lives of individuals through promoting the importance of achieving a higher education. I want my life to be symbolic and want my ambitions to personally move people.  I want to be remembered for my willingness to help others achieve their goals. My goal is to leave behind the legacy that of believing it was never impossible to start that unwandered journey, and never too late to pursue your dreams. I want to instill a quality of humanitarianism in people the way Diana Nyad did upon completion of her record distance swim at the age of 65. The way she made people believe in themselves inspired me more than any words could possibly illustrate. That is the same type of influence I would like to have on people, the type that for a split seconds in time makes you feel invincible to the world around you.  I want to fulfill the hearts of people with the feeling of possibility despite the varying adversities we all face. I want my legacy to inspire and promote action the way the words of great speakers like Martin Luther King promoted action and self-betterment in me. The biggest impact one can have on generations to come is not made by what you take to your final rest, but is made by what you leave behind you when you go.


Post Submitted By Our Scholarship Winner: Eric Sosa


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