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In my experience, one of the best ways to truly learn and improve oneself is to be in the leadership position. Throughout my high school career, I have been blessed with the opportunities of being the captain of the varsity soccer team as well as the math league team. While the experience on the soccer field trained me to be physically strong and exemplary, being the captain of the fellow mathematics geniuses taught me what leadership is truly all about.
When I first came to the United States, one of my first impressions was that very few of my classmates shared the same passion for math. Being one of the few Asians in the school, somehow I was elected to be the captain of the Math team. At first I had no idea what I was supposed to do since I had never been a leader of any sort before. Eventually, carrying the passion for math in mind, I decided that this was a great opportunity for me to challenge myself and make my high school years memorable.
We faced many difficulties along the way. At first, the whole team consists of only four members (all Asians of course!) We did not have any spare room to practice in, so we had to go to my house everyday after school to work. Moreover, there was no financial support from the school, so we paid for everything using our own money. In these difficult conditions, I realized that there were many students who had full potential but lacked interest. By performing the magical 1+1=1 bit and explaining the trick behind it, I motivated many of them to develop their potential talents into full interest by joining our team. The next step is to get support from our school. We figured that in order to get our message heard, we needed to prove ourselves a significant lot. We started with performing social community services such as tutoring after school, organizing a Math day, and providing car wash to raise money. Eventually, our efforts were recognized and we received enough financial support to enter the competition and represent our Alma Mater.
We finished 8th out of 10 schools at the first competition. Two months later, we were crowned the regional champions for the first time in the history of Brownwood High School. In addition to taking initiatives, I managed to lead a group of young talented people to a collective goal that had previously not been identified. I believe that this leadership experience opened new doors to myself as well as to those of my fellow teammates.