Melissa Neal, Canton HS
MASC/MAHS Board of Delegates Member
My entire life I have been seeking positions of leadership. I think I’m one of those people where it’s in my DNA. From elementary school student council to being captain of a sports team to the Board of Delegates, I have always wanted to be more involved and to exceed my own personal set of expectations. I have always wanted to do more, to go above and beyond- even to be a leader of leaders. To me, leading is certainly not about bossing around your "followers" or being controlling, but about setting a positive example and helping those who look up to you to become the best person they can be, too. I have learned that leadership is not always about the limelight and does not always come with a title. Some of the greatest leaders are those who inspire others in a non-obvious way.
Leadership has become such a core part of my life that I can't imagine not having these opportunities to step up. Even though there are some days when I wish that I wasn’t so involved and my planner is basically exploding with dates and commitments, I would not change it for the world. Leadership has truly enriched my life, helping to mold me into the adolescent I am today. I have become a much more outgoing person, confident in my abilities and in myself, as well as someone with a lot passion for what's important to me. I’ve learned a lot about myself by taking on different roles in my community and school.
Without these opportunities to lead, I would have never met the amazing and inspirational people that have made me a greater person. Not only have I had some really fun times with great new friends who are also super zealous about student leadership, but I have gained so many new perspectives on life and leadership. I have a great deal of respect and gratitude for people willing to teach me and others (especially teenagers) life lessons and how to inspire ourselves and everyone else to do our best. Now, I’m always hoping someone will see an act of leadership and think to his or herself, “Hey, I can do that too.”