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Leadership-Essay- Our Choices

What some would classify as a bump in the road, I would qualify as a step into the development of my character and leadership skills.


When my father left when I was only three years old, it was up to my mom to provide for our family. It was challenging for us to make ends meet, and for a while we had to live cramped up in a one bedroom apartment. Still, my mother persevered and built a new life for us, shaping not only our current situation, but also my views on hard work and leadership.


When I was fourteen, fresh out of middle school and still naive about the world, I decided to assist my mom with the household bills and expenses, so I journeyed down the road to my neighborhood Publix supermarket.


I was well aware that the likelihood of getting hired at such a young age was slim; nevertheless, I was determined to put down my beloved Harry Potter books to don the coveted Publix apron. I continued to walk to Publix every week, despite the scorching heat and unbearable humidity, so as to demonstrate to the managers my interest and determination to acquire any position available. After sporadically dropping by the store and reaching a first name basis with several managers, I obtained a job as a bagger, worked my way up to a cashiering position, and have been working there ever since. This opportunity has given me the means to help my mom financially and the chance to live comfortably through hard work.


Though it has been challenging balancing school work, a job, and a social life, I have managed to stay organized and dedicated to my studies, my family, and my future. I have learned that hard work, perseverance, and taking matters into your own hands are essential to achieve a successful life. As JK Rowling once said, it is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Student Essay: Published with Permission
Author: D.M. 2007

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