How are you differentiating your leadership and entrepreneurship from the rest of the other ”leaders” and ”entrepreneurs”?
Transformative paths: Leadership
Colleges want students who have shown a capacity to lead. While colleges appreciate seeing leadership at school, they’re most impressed by leadership experiences that don’t fit a pre-existing mold, roles that individual students develop through their own initiative, using original ideas and out-of-the box thinking.
Joseph from Phoenix, Arizona:
Sparks: Love of tennis, outgoing, selfless
Igniting Fire: Unique leadership
Joseph came to us as a sophomore in high school, a good student and competitive tennis player in Phoenix, Arizona, but with little development of other skills. Together, we sought ways that he could use his passion for tennis to develop skills of leadership and encouraged him to look for ways he could serve the needs of his community. In the spring of 10th grade, Joseph contacted his local Boys and Girls Club and learned that Phoenix had few summer programs to help inner-city youth stay out of trouble, and so Joseph created a plan for a tennis clinic for low-income children in the area.
Working with his parents, he visited local pro shops, got sponsors for his clinic and acquired used racquets and balls for the kids. Next, he worked with the local Boys and Girls club to secure tennis courts. That summer, Joseph’s camp grew in popularity, increasing from just eight kids the first week to fifty by the end of the summer. We urged Joseph to take his success and scale it upwards, so during his junior year he wrote a handbook on how to start tennis clinics in other areas. Then the following summer, Joseph expanded his inner-city tennis program to two other cities across the country.
Discovered Brand: Community Leader, Entrepreneur.
Transformative paths: Entrepreneurship
While the idea of starting a business or nonprofit may seem daunting, experience has shown that once a young person puts a plan on paper for a good idea, the doors of possibility fly open.
There is something undeniably inspiring about a young person taking initiative and starting something from scratch. Without fail, the students I’ve worked with have found no shortage of enthusiastic supporters to help them realize their vision. The process starts with creating a concept and learning how to draught a business proposal.
For parents, entrepreneurship offers the great satisfaction of collaborating with kids to build a business venture. Creating a unique venture demands individuality, responsibility, and maturity, but it’s also a lot of fun. The hardest part is just getting started.
Ali from Santa Clara, California
Sparks: Compassion, love of people
Igniting Fire: Entrepreneurship
We began working with Ali as a ninth grader. Unsure of her talents, she had sincere interest in her family’s Romanian background. The following summer, she volunteered at an orphanage in Bucharest. Gradually, she became aware of her sense of compassion and desire to help. She was so taken by the children’s needs that when she returned to her high school in Silicon Valley, she got her friends to help her organize a nonprofit to raise awareness about the children’s hardships and how financial support could have a meaningful, long- lasting impact on these children.
In the subsequent years she held fundraisers, which illustrated the management skills, organization, and publicity that she had gained. Meanwhile, she brought awareness to her community and raised over $20,000 to improve living conditions for the Romanian children in need.
Discovered Brand: NGO Founder
We hope you enjoyed this free snippet from David Montesano’s book ”4 Steps to the College of Your Dreams”. Next time we look at 2 short stories on transformative paths in service and creativity.