In the beginning, my group was given the US AID. I was extremely bummed out. Other groups were given the Department of Defense, Intelligence Agency, Senate ... and I didn’t know what US AID even did.
The US AID is a Non-Governmental Organization who gives aid and helps repair infrastructure of other countries. It was so cool being the US AID because our group alone got to go to the US AID headquarters and talk to them. All the other groups were jealous because they got stuck having a really boring lecture by a guy who “didn’t know anything” and “only asked where you were from and then quickly changed the subject.” I came to love being US AID.
When we went up to New York, we switched roles. Instead of looking at the Kosovo crisis through the eyes of the United States, we began to look at it through the international eyes. My group got the U.K. and I was excited to be a country with the veto power. However, I was the U.K. in my first conference. Maybe it gave me an advantage. I would have preferred to be China, as they have a veto and it’s fun to mess with the rest of the U.N.
We went to places such as the United Nations and Wall Street. We did have some lectures, some obviously better than others. We did a lot more lectures this year. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that I am now in the High School group. Overall, the lectures were interesting. I learned a lot from them – like the way the United Nations functions and international affairs.
In all seriousness, LeadAmerica changed my life for the better. My first year, I was a little unsure if this is what I wanted to do with my life. I wasn’t really a “leader.” I was just a normal 13-year-old girl trying to pass high school. LeadAmerica taught me to develop my own opinions and support them. They gave me self-confidence. I know, I know, I sound really cheesy, but it’s true. LeadAmerica opened my eyes to career paths I never considered and introduced me to people with views that are worthy listening to.