When I got the 2015 magazine issue that had the Leadership Summit information in it, I just passed right over it. I didn’t really think much about it until my mom looked at the magazine and started asking me questions about the Summit. After talking to my mom and dad, I decided to go for it and fill out the questionnaire even if I didn’t think I’d make it in. After filling out the questionnaire and submitting my entry, I felt like I had no chance of being chosen. Even when I did get chosen, I still didn’t believe it!
About halfway through the questionnaire, I thought about just giving up on it because I felt like it was a waste of my time. My mom told me that even If I didn’t submit the questionnaire I should still fill it out because it would help me further understand who I am as a person and my goals. I’m glad that I filled out the questionnaire because she was absolutely right. After finally finishing the questions, I actually felt pretty good about myself even though I thought that I probably had no chance at all of being chosen. The questions make you think more deeply about yourself.
Disbelief, then Excitement
My mom got the email one night when I was at karate late. When I walked in the door she told me I would never guess what she had just read on her email. I couldn’t believe I was chosen! At first I really didn’t believe that she was for real, but then I realized she was serious. I was super excited! When I told the rest of my family the news they didn’t believe me at first either, but when they realized we weren’t lying, they were super happy and excited for me.
Before the Summit, my mom, my aunt and I went to the mall to see if we could find an outfit that I really felt comfortable in and that was “me.” The last store that I ever thought that would have an outfit was the last store we went to—and that is where we found my profile outfit.
The trip to California was fun but scary at the same time. It was only the second time I‘ve ever flown, and I’m not a big fan of flying. California’s weather was so different than home. When we left St. Louis it was 30 degrees but in California it was about 75 to 80 degrees each day. We flew in a few days early to do some sightseeing in San Francisco. There was so much to see and do. I am so glad I had this amazing opportunity.
A Warm Welcome from New Friends
When I first arrived at the hotel for the summit, some of the girls were talking together by the swimming pool. I was nervous to go up to them, but then one of them came over and brought me to the group. It was cool because everyone made me feel welcome—it seemed like we’d known each other forever. Right off the bat, we learned a lot about each other. It surprised me that there are people from all over that are like me, and I am not the only one interested in the things that I am interested in.
I learned that there are many people around the world that have the same traits as me and that a girl can do anything as long as you try and put your mind to it. There were many people there that taught me new things and I learned a lot. It was a life-changing experience!
One of the fun and funny moments of the whole experience was when we were doing our first photo shoot. The group that I was in called ourselves Squash. We were running around and yelling “squash.” We had a squash pose and we all did it as one of our poses for the photoshoot. I thought that it was cool because all of the girls were fun and they all cared about what everyone had to say. I liked that no one was made to feel left out and we were always learning something new about someone.
My Advice for You…
When you fill out the questionnaire to be a Discovery Girl, don’t hold back. Tell them everything that is cool about you. Don’t feel that you are the only one having a difficult time with some of the questions. Another thing is that you need to be totally honest.
You do have a chance for getting in. I really didn’t think that a girl like me from a small town in Missouri could ever be chosen, but I tried. And even if you don’t make it in, that doesn’t mean that they didn’t like your answers or they didn’t like you. I know they love everyone and have a very difficult time choosing only 36 girls.
I will always remember my DG experience!