Inspired Leader Shares Her Leadership Academy Experience

Julie Phillips is an Inspired Leader who is beginning her junior year at Cherry Creek High School. Julie has always been active in her community and is passionate about reducing bullying within her school and registering her peers to vote. In her spare time, she enjoys playing soccer, running cross country, and participating in her school's Amnesty Club. 

Read below to see what Julie had to say about Inspire Colorado's Inaugural Leadership Academy!

I wish I could say that I was thrilled for Leadership Academy. The reality is I wasn't. I only knew a few people going and I thought we would all be separated and I would be forced to interact. I was nervous that everyone would be really exclusive and I would just be there wishing that it would end.

The check in time was 9-11am. I arrived at 11am thinking I would want to be there as short as possible. Walking up I see 2 big groups formed into a circle. They all were playing these games and everyone was laughing and smiling and have a great time. I thought to myself, "they're having a lot of fun maybe I will," trying to get a better attitude. But there was still a big part of me wishing it would be over faster.  

We all were gathered into a room and separated into different groups based on school. I became more relaxed because I was around the people I knew. However, I also met a few new people. I thought to myself again "this really isn't that bad." We had meals and free time and I got to branch out and meet people from all over the state. Me, being somebody who prefers to be by myself, wanted to meet everybody. I had met about half of the people by the first day and I couldn't wait to meet more people. I would never have guessed that I would connect with so many people.

At the end of day one, we had some time to think about our day with everybody in Inspire Colorado. One of the Inspire Staff Members said, "Close your eyes, mentally make 3 goals you want to complete by tomorrow." I thought about it and thought about it. I looked around the circle and then it came to me. I wanted to make it my number 1 priority to talk to everybody around the circle by the next night.

The next day I tried talking to as many people as possible. I couldn't believe how many amazing people were at this Leadership Academy. One of the activities we did, which was my favorite, was the Story of Self. Basically what we did was talk to different people about something in our life that happened that made us realize our passion. After we took some time to reflect and write it down for ourselves, we talked to different people and told them our stories. I could not wrap my head around some of things people have gone through. It really made me feel grateful for all the things I have in my life.

By the last day of the Leadership Academy I didn't want to leave. I wanted to stay as long as possible. I was wishing that on the first day I wouldn't have got there at 11am rather at 9am just so I would have had two more hours

All in all, on the first day of school, August 13th, when asked what my favorite part of summer was I was able to say Inspire Colorado Leadership Academy.


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