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GE Ronald Reagan Scholarship Essay Example on Leadership and Service

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

Deep in the Dominican Republic where my father grew up, the established belief of the farmers was that their lifestyle was unaffected by outside influences. Therefore, the natives decided not to leave the farms of La Vega. My father saw things differently. As a child, hearing my father create change astounded me. How could a leader rise from nothing? Trying to find the solution has led to my rise as a leader. Whether it be through tutoring summer school students or speaking to thousands, I have emulated the characteristics of a leader my father had growing up.

The son of a farmer and brother to eleven siblings, my father yearned to understand the world. Dominican education stopped at ten, but my father's did not. While goats grazed, my father read the few books available to him. To support the family, he tended neighboring farms; work became the top priority. Nevertheless, my father could not contain his zeal for knowledge. At sixteen, he took a national examination for admission to the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, the nation's premier institution. Astonishingly, he was accepted with a full scholarship, the first in La Vega to gain this honor. His passion for learning eventually earned him another scholarship to study in America.

Though I was not raised in La Vega, I draw inspiration from my father's example. He has bestowed upon me a deep gratitude for education, a passion for learning, and the spirit to pursue my endeavors. His story taught me that the path set before us may not be meant for us. In my youth, I wasted the value of my father's experiences. I never challenged myself because I held the naïve reasoning that intelligence was predetermined. While my peers won academic awards, I watched from the sidelines. The true leader within me awoke one night while babysitting.

Being a thirteen-year old teenager, I reluctantly agreed to watch my cousin, Sophia. While anticipating SpongeBob's next move, Sophia appeared stymied by a problem. SpongeBob had gone to commercial, so I approached her. At first she appeared reticent, but at that moment an inner self took control. Almost by instinct, I offered to help her. As she smiled, I analyzed the problem set. The situation: multiplication. I muted the TV while explaining it in child jargon. Watching the spark ignite in her eyes after understanding multiplication sparked a fire within me. At that moment, I realized I had the ability to create change. The question that arose was not how SpongeBob ended, but why I was wasting my ability to shape people's lives.

My solution since my epiphany has bore exponential results. I have led my "village" of Lodi by example. In high school, I dissected poetry as I dissected frogs. I overcame my early struggles, going from a remedial to principal AP calculus student. I learned to continue a problem until I solved it, no matter how difficult. Knowledge soon propelled me to take a bus to the summer course Plane Geometry Honors. To fund my passion, I sold my Xbox. Outside of school was no different. My readings, such as Ayn Rand's Fountainhead, caused me to think ambiguously. Looking back, I am still amazed at my transformation. Going from rudimentary to AP courses was difficult at first, but rather than detest it, I loved it. My guidance counselor was shocked that I went from barely passing to principal's list. Nevertheless, rather than work for good grades, I worked to fuel my passion for learning.

My success has driven me to create change in others as I did in myself. Taking the next step towards leadership, I ran to become President of Lodi High School, with my platform of creating change granting me victory. Being elected president has strengthened my ability to be a leader. I have urged students that anyone can go from failing to principal's list as I did. Creating both a College Prep and Tutoring Center are just two of the many endeavors I have taken in changing the lives of others. Since my epiphany, I have tutored students. Teaching topics ranging from multiplication to trigonometry for an accumulative of over five hundred hours made me realize that if I can harness success within students, I can be a true leader. Creating optimism within students, I volunteered to speak with the message that change within yourself is possible. While many would argue that intelligence is given, I would argue that it is earned. My efforts have led to lower failure rates as well as a sense of hope. Seeing student reports from D's to B's makes me feel accomplished as a leader.

I have been a leader in people's lives just as my father was in mine. I wanted to be the person people could both relate and look up to as a source of success. Taking AP classes and tutoring students have been rewards in themselves, but I use my experiences to prove to others that success is not something given, it is earned; everyone can achieve it! My desire to expose the success within people has led me to become a true leader. Nevertheless, I realize there is more to be done, and I plan to lead those around me in college and beyond with my message that success in any aspect is earned through persistence and passion. When the time comes, I hope to inspire those around me, just as my father did for me. Then, my journey will have been worth it.

Original Source: Essay Forum

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