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Essay Example on Leadership and Service for GE Ronald Reagan Scholarship

Before he became America's 40th President, Ronald Reagan pursued leadership roles to inspire and advocate for those around him. Describe how your leadership and service has made a positive difference in your school, in your community, in your family and/or on the job, and how it will continue to make a difference in college and beyond.

Like President Reagan, my childhood sculpted the rigid edges of the person I am today. It instilled my values not only as a Navajo woman, but as an American citizen. With today's ever growing media and society, it is easy to forget about servicing others. As a sophomore, I was inducted into the National Honor Society. The requirements of being a member of NHS were to show impeccable characteristics of a leader while also maintaining a 3.5 GPA. While participating in NHS, I signed up to help with my school's semi-annual blood drive, the Special Olympics, and Honor Our Elders' Day within my hometown's community, I gained a great deal of knowledge I could not gain inside a classroom.

Assisting with the blood drive and Special Olympics, I learned how precious life is. Since the first volunteer blood donor service opened in 1921, there has been a constant outreach for donors. Reasons for this is because there is no substitute for human blood, each day brings advances in life-saving techniques-many of which require blood or blood products, and blood cannot be stored indefinitely. Studies show that 1 in 7 patients that come into a hospital need a blood transfusion, while only 37% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, a mere 10% actually do. I also learned of the stories of cancer patients and car accident victims that did not survive because of the insignificant shortage of blood the hospital had in storage.

Additionally, I volunteered as a Special-Hands buddy. My school categorizes the special needs participants by age group. I was assigned to a 22 year old woman named Shelia Long. Immediately, Shelia and I became friends. I was responsible for getting my new friend to her scheduled events and to keep her hydrated throughout the day. Between her events, Shelia and I got acquainted. I asked about her favorite books and movies, as well as her hobbies and found we are alike in so many ways. I could not believe that 17% of Americans were classified with disabilities. I saw Shelia struggle with telling me about her. This saddened me that diseases like down-syndrome is something that some people are born with and have to endure their entire lives. That day I learned that my time and friendliness spent on the less fortunate is a small contribution I can give to their life-long fight.

Contributing to our annual Honoring Our Elders Day is something I try volunteer in every year. I devote the entire day to the elders in my community for the price of missing a day of school. My family and I donate two 20 pound bags of Bluebird flour, gift baskets of food, and provide our service to give thanks to our elders and ease their stress and financial troubles. We wear traditional Navajo attire to show respect to our elders, which is a huge lesson in my Navajo culture. Wearing traditional clothing gives our elders a sign of appreciation. It is the proper way to approach them when we give our assistance. As we interact with our elders, the best words we receive are "Ahe'hee shiyazhi," meaning "Thank you, my child." In Navajo, that gratitude is one of the most heartfelt phrases. Being a Navajo, our elders play an extremely important role in our community. Our respect for our elders drives us to better ourselves as well as others.

Supporting my community is not a chore, but a duty to my people. It's a big responsibility and it takes its toll not only in terms of time, but money. Personally, the donations and assistance I have provided are worth my sacrifice. The feeling of helping others in my community is comforting as I think of its improvement with my service. Like President Reagan, I sacrificed my time to provide service to others. My community will benefit from the projects I've help with by the effort I gave. I will never forget the feeling of giving back to my people and this will continue in college at Arizona State University when I pursue a degree in Political Science while focusing on Pre-Law.

Original Source: Essay Forum



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