The first experience I had in student government occurred back in my 6th grade year. My middle school’s student council was incredibly small, with only about 5 people at its largest. The largest event we did was called Red Ribbon Week, where we sold red candy to raise awareness against drug use. At the time, I had no idea where such a small club would one day lead me. During my 8th grade year, I served as student body president and attended my first external meeting at, coincidentally, my high school, Palm Beach Central. Seeing kids not much older than me up on stage, leading an assembly of well over a hundred kids inspired me to do whatever it took to reach that same position.
When I finally arrived at Palm Beach Central in the fall of 2020, I decided to go to school as soon as I could. To me, SGA provided the community that so many of us lacked during that difficult time. However, this is where my passion for government would grow exponentially. Attending my first-ever state conference at FASC 2023, I was amazed at the sheer number of students in Florida who shared my passion for leadership, problem-solving, and ingenuity. On the last day of that conference, seeing all of the candidate schools cheer over their win, I decided to give it my all to serve as many people as I could. I wanted to become FASC President.
Two years later, that dream has been fulfilled. However, I could never have expected the lessons I’ve learned and the experiences I’ve had along the way. To say that SGA has taught me leadership is quite a cliché, and incredibly unrepresentative of the plethora of skills one can glean from such a unique experience. Student Government has taught me public speaking, with giving multiple speeches in front of over 1,000 people one of my scariest and most exciting moments to date. FASC taught me perseverance and determination, to not give up in the face of adversity, apathy, or arrogance. It also taught me integrity, to maintain my strength of character, and to serve as a role model for others. Most importantly, it taught me that not everyone will like you or appreciate you. It helped me realize that critics will always exist, regardless of your actions. No matter what, you have to stick to your ideals, keep your friends close, and focus on your goal.
All of these skills and more are going to be invaluable for my future career. I hope to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and follow in the footsteps of other famous leaders. Going into the Academy with years of leadership experience in various fields will almost guarantee my success on campus. I am incredibly grateful to SGA and FASC for allowing me to better myself, to learn, and to grow into the leader I am today.