Experience is key to personal growth. I believe that the larger the variety of experiences I have, the more effectively I will be able to advocate for diversity, communicate and interact with others, and inspire and lead others. For example, throughout my life, I have been involved within my church, my school, and my community through many activities ranging from leading Sunday School, to volunteering at Special Olympics, to becoming a collegiate softball player and coaching younger teams. The more diverse experiences I am a part of, the wider my outreach and impact will be on others. And on the flip side of this, the more diverse groups I share experiences with, the more impact others will have on me. The more I am open to new experiences in my life, the more I will be able to grow personally and as a leader.
Along with this, the more experience I obtain within specific areas will also help me to grow and develop in that particular area because I will be more familiar and knowledgeable about it. For example, one of my largest recent experiences includes working for the City of Portland Electric Department, in which I grew as an employee through assisting with answering public inquiries, organizing a file system for the office, visiting job sites to expand my knowledge about ongoing departmental projects, and attending meetings with the Electric Superintendent. These experiences were of unimaginable value to me, as my hometown was devastated by a tornado and my department and I assisted with disaster relief. Without the experience I had within the department, I would not have been able to act as effectively during the time of and the storm and in the aftermath of it, but because I had the experience that I did, my services were of an even greater value. Because of my specialized experience as a result of the time and work I had done within the department, I was provided the opportunity to grow not only as an employee, but as a member of the community as well because I was better equipped to serve others as a result of my experiences.
Because of my experiences with my church, school, community, athletics, volunteerism, community service, and work, not only am I a more diverse person, but I am constantly presented with the opportunities to grow as an individual and as a leader. And because I feel so confidently that experience is the key to growth, I will always seek to extend and broaden my experiences.