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My S1 has to write an app for NHS. He's a good academic student, been on Swim Team for 3 years, won some art awards and excels in his Tech program.
Reading over his app, he says he thinks he won't be chosen. He hasn't been President/leader/organizer of anything. No after-school activities except Jewelry Club and biking/BMX with his friends. And work at a nursing home washing dishes.
I did point out to him that his work is a worthy use of his time. He also is great at wrenching on his bike, and so our garage and driveway have become the repair shop for his friends and their bicycles. He decided to take the Welding Tech program so he could better work on his bike.
Does leadership mean leading others? Is it also initiative? He has goals, but he is not really big on trying to "make" anyone do what he wants to do. He is the epitome of "easygoing."
I think he is a great kid. His teachers all sent great reports. But I have a sinking feeling that as great a kid as he is, his laid-back, unruffled manner doesn't exude leadership qualities.
This is also an issue with college apps. He has plenty to make him stand out, awards-wise. Not any community volunteering stuff, though. During swim season, that's all he can manage besides school. He doesn't even work during his season. Off-season and summer he works btw 9-12 hrs/week, or whatever has been legal for him since he was 15. They always want him back afterward.
Do we push him to be more of a joiner of group activities, beyond his biking hobby? Is he not "leadership material" because his swim team voted for some other guys to be captain?
I'll still love him whatever; I'm just trying to understand how others see it.