Looking back four years ago and picturing my little freshman self sitting at my first FBLA meeting, I never thought I would one day be on the FBLA-PBL National Officer team. In all honesty, the concept has not truly sunk in yet. Though the reality of the situation is that I am extremely fortunate to be here and serve my fellow members!
The journey I took from my freshman year was one full of cherished memories and character-shaping moments. Running and getting elected to Arizona state office myfreshman year was an awesome and rewarding experience. It was in this year that I picked up some of the greatest professional lessons of my life. Learning the value of true work ethic and seeing goals put into action made a huge impression on me. It’s not to say that I didn’t have my stressful and frustrating moments. Overall though I feel that it was my biggest tool in practicing my leadership skills to run for re-election.
The following spring at the state conference, I ran my re-election campaign and once again successfully won a position on the state officer team. My goal, this time around, was to become the state president and refine my leadership skills so that I could be part of the driving force for FBLA Arizona. The year that followed was full of history making achievements for my state and (to this day) one of the most challenging positions of my professional career. As the year closed I took a moment to reflect on the person I was just three years ago and compare it to the person I was at that point. Those that know me best still say to this day that the comparison will show two completely different people.
With this comparison in mind and the opportunity of another year in FBLA, I knew that I had a choice to make. Was I going to retire my leadership service for FBLA or was I going to make the attempt to take it to the next level and serve a larger audience of my FBLA peers. I’ll be honest with you. There was no clear-cut decision. Though I remembered one of the greatest lessons I picked up in FBLA—that everyone is a leader. All that matters is how and when you chose to practice and refine the skills you have as a leader. I realized at that point that I wanted to use everything I learned and all the experiences I gained and project them onto a national arena so that all FBLA members could have the same growth and memorable, inspirational experience I had. My mind was made up and I had decided to run for national office.
Now, in retrospect, to a kid who just three years ago was a small freshman and doubted the opportunities that were made available to him because of where he came from, this idea was daunting. To follow, the entire campaign process and nationals process was also daunting to me. But the passion that resonated inside of me was so strong that it overcame any doubt I had and ultimately got me through the experience. There reached a point about five minutes before they announced the election results of the national campaign, that I literally had a moment of disbelief! Was I really sitting here waiting to possibly here my name? Yet again at that moment my little freshman self image came to mind. I had a flashback of the last three years and sat there astonished at the fact of where I started and where I was now. I had seriously disconnected from the world, but what broke my concentration was the announcer calling my name as the winner!
You know those moments in life where your body goes numb and you think to yourself “did that just happen?” Well, let me tell you, I definitely experienced one of those moments and the next thing I knew my state was on their feet cheering and my campaign manager pulling me off my seat to get me on stage. The events that followed after were humbling as I took my oath of office on stage. There are no words that can express how grateful I am to my region and for the opportunity they gave me.
The moral of the story is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, who you are, or how different you may be at the beginning of the journey. If you want to reach your goals you have the capacity to do so. The only question you need to ask yourself is this, “Am I ready to let the journey change and shape me?” If so, then you have already taken the first step. What follows after is entirely up to you, but never forget that with whatever might happen, your goal is always waiting for you. Go out there and catch it!