As a preteen, I found myself following in my older sister’s footsteps. I wanted to do the same things that she did, and this wasn’t just because she was my sister. I looked at her as a role model.
When I was old enough, I decided to join a junior chapter of Future Business Leaders of America. My sister was a part of our high school chapter, so it was only natural that I became a member as soon as I could.
At first, I joined FBLA because I wanted to emulate my sister, but I soon found that I enjoyed being a part of FBLA. I recall orchestrating fundraisers, selling food to students during lunch and the comradery between my friends.
The following year, I was elected as president of the junior chapter, and I felt like I had my future figured out. I was a leader, and I enjoyed the little taste of “business.”
During my freshman year, I found out that my family and I were moving, and I had to begin all over again. So here I was at a new school with no FBLA chapter. I had no support system, and I was trying my best to make friends.
I didn’t think much about the choices I made as a teenager when it came to leadership until I attended the Elect Her training this month. It hit home for me when Elect Her Facilitator Melissa Richmond said many women lose interest in leadership positions around high school or college.
This was me.
Elect Her was designed to prevent women, like myself, from losing the passion for leadership. They are currently targeting high school and college students. They have found that most women lose interest in running for any type of office.
Having that foundation of leadership instilled at a young age is vital to women. It builds confidence. In a world where men still dominate, it’s crucial to get a women’s perspective.
Reflecting on my transition from middle school to high school, I realize now that I didn’t have a support system rallying me to run for FBLA in high school. I suppose that could be used as my reason for not continuing with the organization, but I think I used this as an excuse.
I feared what people would say, my lack of knowledge and the time it would take away from my friends. I never gave this budding passion a chance, but I don’t intend on making that mistake twice.