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Teen Voice: Leaving a leaderís legacy
September 23, 2016 Faith Reisig   

Read more by Faith Reisig
My freshman year I signed up to be a witness in mock trial, a school activity that allows students to go through the process of preparing a legal case and arguing it in competitions against other schools.

Iíll never forget my first meet. I was nervous, ill prepared, and let one of the scary attorneys from Geringís team walk all over me. I had no clue what I was doing. As the season went on, I finally figured some things out. I watched the older kids and emulated them, developed more confidence and skill, and got to the point where I loved the challenges each case had to offer.

This week I was named mock trial team captain. I am proud of this accomplishment and all of the work Iíve put into the organization. My teammates and I have been working hard since school started and it is an honor to be leading them. However, it raises a question that Iíve been asking a lot as an upperclassman: What is my legacy?

After I graduate, will anyone remember my accomplishments? What am I really doing for all of the programs of which I am a part? Am I setting an example for the people who come after me?

I want to be remembered for what I do. I want to succeed. I have big dreams of changing the school and the activities Iím in. I want to compete well, go to state, bring home a title. But that will be forgotten in a year or two, as new students compete and create their own legacies. I want to be the student teachers talk about years later, saying, ďWow, Faith Reisig always worked so hard. Iíve never had a student that dedicated before.Ē However, there are kids with commitment levels similar to mine in every class. Years from now, when I am long gone, I want to still be remembered. What am I doing that nobody else has done?

Iím trying to be remembered as a leader. I want to be the person who knows all the show choir music and choreography perfectly. I want to be the first mock trial attorney to have all of the questions for my witness written. In speech, I want to be memorized before the first meet. I do my best to put my all into everything I do so that the people around me do the same. While that itself is not incredible, inspiring others is the best legacy I could leave.

Recently, I went to a choral leadership day in North Platte. With a bunch of other music geeks, I worked on breathing techniques, talked about the leadership process, and had fun getting to know some of the younger kids in the choir program. The final speaker of the day talked about the importance of encouragement, and how a leader can be inspiring. More than anything else, I want to be remembered as an encourager.

I am lucky to have met people who have encouraged me. Iíve had some pretty incredible role models. As a freshman, juniors and seniors gave me feedback and encouragement. There were speakers, musicians, and writers I knew who made me want to walk in their footsteps and pushed me to work harder. Now itís my chance to do the same. I want to be a role model for the people who come after me.

While I may not ever know if and why Iíll be remembered, I know the kind of legacy I want to leave. That allows me to make decisions every day that I hope will change how I am remembered. After we graduate, this yearís mock trial team may not remember who was captain, but hopefully people will remember how I encouraged them. If there are people who remember that I was someone they wanted to be like, someone who built them up and encouraged them to keep going and give their all, I will be proud, regardless of how I perform.
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