Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Sixteen years ago, I came shyly into a world of love and happiness, yet full of social insecurity. I was the quiet and studious second child of the family. Happily married, my parents were excited to have a new baby girl in their lives. I grew up with many opportunities for both intellectual and religious growth. I was incredibly secure in the knowledge that I was immensely loved by my family. Although I was raised to feel comfortable at home, however, I would only find myself clinging for the security of my parents while at school. All things considered, school had managed to be a first priority in my life. In fact, it had been the only priority in my life (as friends had never really played much of a role in my life). However, as the years continued to pass and as I entered high school, my untouched, insecure, and shy life became plastered in a number of different activities and forms of leadership.

Frank Herbert once said, "Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken." High school can easily be classified as my awakening. I recall my junior year in high school opening up dull no new changes. However, when my French teacher asked me whether I would be joining any clubs that year, I realized that I had to make a major decision. I had not been very sure if I could manage to hold the weight of school club meetings as well as soccer practice. I realized that I truly did want to join more clubs in school but would therefore have to sacrifice soccer. In attempting to work out some sort of compromise, I chose to join more clubs and also join at the local fitness center. In addition to this, I decided to make it a goal to become the president of at least one club, thus beginning my reformed life of leadership at Santiago High School.

I achieved my goal by founding Santiago High Schools Indian Pakistani club, which not only enhanced my leadership capabilities, but also improved my cultural background. As the President of this club, I have made it a duty to make our fellow classmates more aware of their culture, including educating the rest of the school of our cultures, which vary a great deal (please not also that the club is not limited to just Indian and Pakistani students, for we have several Hispanic students as well as Jamaican students and are open to all cultures). Aside from Presidency in this club, I have also taken part in several cultural assemblies and have helped organize these assemblies through a leadership class entitled the Ethnic Advisory Council (EAC). This leadership class is one of my greatest accomplishments as a result of the drastic change in my self-esteem. The class has given me the opportunity to give to our high school what most high schools do not receive and that is a program that promotes cultural awareness and unity.

With all that has occurred in the recent events, I believe that it has become a necessity to inform and educate people of the diversity of our country. My involvement as the representative of EAC has also allowed me the opportunity to present ideas and activities that will help prevent the occurrence of segregation or discrimination in our community. Furthermore, in being President of the Indian-Pakistani club as well as the California Scholastic Federation (which bases itself on academic achievement and is very beneficial to honors students), and being Representative of EAC, I now understand what E.M Kelly meant by, "The difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says, 'Go!' - a leader says, 'Let's go!'" It is one thing to simply be in charge of everything, and another to help out with the activities.

"I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are." This quote, by Milton Berle, puzzled me a great deal as a freshman in high school. However, as the years have passed by, I have realized the true significance of this quote. I am now inspired by this quote because I realize that it is better to reach for my dreams than to not reach at all. Shooting for the moon is good enough, for, at least I will land somewhere among the stars. That shyness that once existed in my being has been replaced by a bubbly, outgoing personality. My leadership abilities have allowed me to become the person I am today, and that person is a could-be; that person is a will-be; and that person will one day be a has-been.