Growing up, I lived thirty minutes away from my school. This caused me to miss out on the after school activities all my friends were doing, such as Little Wolves basketball or cheer camp, because my only ride home left during practices. During middle school, I had moved into town where my school was only 3 minutes away instead. In seventh grade, you can start to play volleyball and basketball as an in school sport; since I’d never played before, I was too shy and scared to try out. Eighth grade year, I finally decided to take a chance and try volleyball and basketball.
Although it was difficult, I went to every practice and every game willing to work hard and have a positive attitude. I signed up for club volleyball in the spring to improve my skills, along with attending open gyms and volleyball camps throughout the summer. I signed up for camps and summer tournaments for basketball as well. A year later, I was starting on the freshman team for volleyball and basketball and swinging onto junior varsity, managing to get a few more minutes of playing time every game.
My willingness to work hard and remain positive started once I decided to step out of my comfort zone and carried with me throughout the year. Years later as a senior, I obtain a 3. 4 cumulative GPA as of now, which I’m still working to bring up, and am varsity cheer captain. This fall, I received academic all-state for the third time in my sports career; this shows not only the younger girls on the team that grades are important, but also the student body.
I also try to lead the girls on my team in an uplifting manner. I make sure they’re all enjoying the sport, all understand the cheers, but also pushing themselves every time they do a cheer, kick, jump, or stunt. I truly believe my leadership will someday make the younger girls on the team great leaders too and improve the cheer program as a whole. Beyond sports, I’ve done some volunteer work that has made a certain difference for people in my community and sometimes people I don’t know.
Every fall since my freshman year, a group of students, including myself, rake leaves from people’s yards in Three Forks; usually these are for the ones who can’t do it themselves and is a greatly appreciated by our entire community. I’ve also volunteer to give blood every fall and spring since last year. I’ve been turned away once because I have very small veins, which makes it difficult for them to poke. The times I’ve been able to give, finding a vein is usually a step that entails a few tries and the process normally takes an hour or so for me.
Although giving can be difficult at times for me, I love knowing that somewhere I’m saving a life. This spring, I plan on helping a man who recently had a brain tumor removed. He had a rough surgery along with a difficult recovery, and it is unsure when he will be able to go back to work. I will help him by going grocery shopping for him, cleaning his house, taking him to any appointments he has scheduled during my visit, and simply just by keeping him company. This man is close to my heart, so I believe helping him will have an immense impact on me as to who I can help and what I can do for people, whether it be big or small.
My work ethic, leadership, and willingness to volunteer will be characteristics I’ll continue to have throughout college and my life. I will attend class every day, pay attention to the lectures, and prepare myself for the tests in order to succeed. Of course I’ll make time to have fun, but my main focus will be my schooling. I’ll also volunteer when I can and pay attention to Missoula’s local volunteer work. When I find my career, I will make it to work every day on time and do my best at whatever I do. I hope my dedication will motivate others around me to work just as hard at their future.