Hello, my name is Mei Prang and I am a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I expect to graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in broadcast, a master’s degree in mass communication, and a minor in Japanese. After I graduate, I hope to combine my journalism and Japanese skills to work for television in Japan.
When I was in high school, I was a member of an organization called Key Club and during my senior year, I got to serve as the club’s treasurer. Part of the mission statement says that the club offers “opportunities to provide service, build character and develop leadership.” Being a part of this club for four years and volunteering for a variety of causes helped teach me what leadership is.
I believe that being a leader can have many meanings. A leader can be an authoritative figure and someone who takes charge. A leader can also be someone who does not have a position of authority but supports others or helps them in some way. Leadership is motivating others or being there for them in order to achieve a common goal.
One of the volunteer events that I looked forward to every year was assisting with a retreat that one of the nearby elementary schools held. One year, the theme was leadership and we spent the entire day teaching sixth graders what leadership is. An activity we did that day was to lead a group discussion with several of the students and have them explain what leadership meant to them. It was really interesting to hear the perspectives of sixth graders, and many of them talked about how they demonstrated leadership in their class or at home. One student described how he was a leader to his younger siblings and always tried to set a good example for them. Another student talked about how she always tried to help her peers when working with them in class. I was there to teach these children what leadership is but in the end, I think I also ended up learning a lot from them and seeing how anyone, no matter how young, can be a leader in many different ways.
Written by Mei Prang, edited by Tabua Butagira