I believe we are all leaders. A friend of mine once said, “We are all born leaders, but only those who reach out and embrace those qualities stand out.”
Last year, I went to Kentucky Youth Assembly for the first time. Over a three day time period I debated bills, whose topics ranged from new taxes to codes of conduct. I met kids from all over the state, and had a lot of fun. Despite everything I accomplished it was the students from across the state that really amazed me. These delegates came from as far south as Corbin and as far north as Frankfort, but they all came for the same reason, to be leaders.
This really sunk in when we were sitting in a huge ball room with row after row of chairs that were filled with kids just like me, kids who drove hours to meet new people and kids who came to represent their schools in the largest program of this type in the country. Hundreds of Kentucky’s finest students stood up to welcome their fellow delegates. When I panned the room I didn’t see kids anymore; I saw Kentucky’s future leaders. As I sat there, I tried to imagine what they were all thinking about. Some might be thinking, “Wow, this is boring,” but I knew that others were thinking about what they were going to accomplish. That is when I knew that those were the students that had embraced their leadership qualities.
Ten years from now I won’t remember if my bill was signed by the governor or how the dance was, but one thing I will always remember is the sight of hundreds of kids that are just like me, showing that they have embraced their leadership qualities and learned how to use them.
Since that first KYA experience I have attended one other KYA and two Kentucky United Nations Assembly programs that have showed me that no matter where you live, how old you are or how much money you have, you are a leader. These are the moments that have been etched into my memory; these are the moments that it became crystal clear to me that we are all leaders and “Leadership is For a Lifetime.”
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