Am I a leader? The answer to that question was never an automatic yes. I struggle with the question despite my numerous leadership roles in various organizations. Shocking? My hesitation is either as outrageous or as uncommon as some might think. Many young adults and college graduates shy away from being labeled a leader because they fear they won’t live up to the title. Some leaders believe they are the select few who have accomplished extraordinary goals and whose charisma and confidence consumes any room they enter. What I discovered in college was that EVERYONE can be a leader, it is one’s passion for a cause and willingness to take action that triggers leadership.
Hello, my name is Jesula Charles. I’m 23 years old from Miami, Florida and I serve at Bakersville Elementary School sponsored by Comcast NBC Universal. A leader has a vision and a goal to accomplish. They use their drive, communication, confidence and influence on others to do so because leadership is not based on a title. Leaders must have integrity on the journey to transform ideas, and must even be a follower when necessary.
Within these two months of being a first year corps member, City Year has allowed me to be a leader and a follower. My goal of building confidence in students and increasing academic comprehension has been molded by my leadership statement “As a leader, I want to never completely lose compassion, purpose or settle for complacency. I will strive to have an open mind in order to learn from others so I can progress to my highest potential. I will honor those who paved the way for my success by empowering others to break their glass ceiling.” I chose these sentences to be my driving force because this year will be difficult! My service will challenge all that I know and force me to moccasin others daily and still remember the importance of my presence in the world.
Every day will be a new slate for me to redeem myself and grow as a leader. I must strive to find new ways to always do my best and connect with my students while accepting that I will fall sometimes. I will only grow as a person and a leader if I serve with an open mind and be ready to learn from all I come across this year. Persistence and the elimination of negative words will be the theme and goal of all my student-mentor relationships. Role model will become my middle name. My students, whole site and team will keep me accountable to my service and impact this year and I welcome it. I will lead by example.