As I look back upon my first year as a Bush Fellow I become a little overwhelmed but I also have feelings of happiness and a continued increase in good energy for what is about to come when I enter grad school in a month and a half. I am beyond elated to have had the opportunity to increase and grow a beautiful network through my work in the community, I am excited to see what doors continue to open and where life takes me in the upcoming years. As always life continues to have its down moments and because of the experiences I’ve faced and I continue to witness in the community it seems as if I’ve become numb at times and it is at moments like those that I need to step back and focus on self-care and utilize those experiences as motivation for my work.
With growth comes mistakes with mistakes comes learning. This past year has been a time of immense growth and I am utilizing each and every step as an opportunity to become a better leader within my community. This past year I’ve learned that leaders are individuals who can help create options and opportunities – who can help clarify problems and choices, who can build morale and coalitions, who can inspire others and provide a vision of the possibilities and promise of a better organization, or a better community. Leaders have those indispensable qualities of contagious self-confidence, unwarranted optimism and incurable idealism that allow them to attract and mobilize others to undertake demanding tasks these people never even dreamed they would undertake.
In short, I am hoping that I can become a better leader by empowering and helping liberate others. As I reflect upon the first year of my fellowship I’ve become to realize that I truly love working for my people and community. It is something that I’d like to focus my entire life around as I continue to grow. With growth comes mistakes with mistakes comes learning I’ve learned that each mistake that I make I need to utilize it as an opportunity of growth to become a better leader for my people. Some may look to me as a leader and some may not, however, I know for a fact that I have at least 2 or 3 youth watching me close and learning from me so it is important that I continue to carry myself in the highest degree and standard so I am a positive influence.
I’ve learned that successful and positive leaders enhance the possibilities for freedom both for people and organizations. My understanding of leadership has created knowledge of how to engage with followers in such a way that many of the followers become leaders in their own right. It is a beautiful opportunity and position to be in to be able to be a light of hope. I am a living and breathing example of hope, I’ve lived a life of dark and negative experiences but I am learning to utilize those experiences and be comfortable sharing those stories as a way to build community and be a part of a generation working for the people and not against them.
I am eager to continue growth and the continued pathways that I take to help myself become a better leader. I am looking forward to devoting the next year to furthering my education but most importantly I am looking forward to devoting the rest of my life working for the next seven generations after me. I am looking forward in leaving a positive footprint in all that I do but with each stride I must continue to overcome fears of stepping beyond boundaries.