Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations?
We were supposed to win it all my freshman year. The tennis team had finished 6th at State the year before, and expectations were even higher this time around. I was a rookie, but I needed to have the maturity of a senior.
One day, I sat on the bleachers at the end of practice, shielding my face to hide my tears. I felt intimidated by everyone, all the pressure that came with being a part of a “super team.” I needed someone to lean on. Thankfully, the team was there for me.
From the beginning, our captains led by example. They weren’t afraid of emotions—rather, they embraced them. When the team felt nervous, our captains used that adrenaline to help us power through matches. When the team felt unmotivated, our captains weren’t afraid to push us, even when our legs were cramping up from long practice matches.
Dedication and acceptance defined their leadership.
I’ve learned much more from the captains than just how to lead a tennis team. In every situation, I aspire to match their unfailing honesty, tenacity, and ability to aid others in any way possible. I take pride in helping the people around me do their best, whether it’s perfecting their new forehand or absolutely nailing their next speech. I hope to inspire others to do the same for their peers, and I aim to welcome everyone into my life. As Captain Martin used to say, “Anyone can be your family.” Published in