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Leadership. This single word defines something we all want to achieve as high school students. We all want to command respect and bring our schools to new heights. While this may seem impossible, how exactly can one achieve these personal goals? The answer is simple. You must climb the ranks. I’m not talking about how you were your local chapter’s historian one year and the next served as the chapter vice-president. I’m referring to how individuals incredibly devoted to certain organizations find themselves in area, state, and national level positions for different clubs across the United States.

Not familiar with what I’m talking about? A lot of competition-based organizations such as HOSA: Future Health Professionals, Business Professionals of America, and DECA have conferences held for students often interested in the career technology industries or business. A lot of the skills that these specific clubs focus on essentially cover characteristics such as professionalism, networking, etc. It all depends on the competition or the organization you are joining.

These conferences are held at the area, state, and national levels. Organizations that host these conferences are often heavily student led and thus have elected officer groups who will run each of the different steps that eventually lead all the way to the top. Its important to note that the foundation of these large structural clubs begin at the chapter level and work its way up. Without the general populace and members, there would be no opportunities to fund a state or national leadership conference.

How difficult is it to run for these positions? Depends. There are numerous factors that go into these elections. These aren’t like your run-of-the-mill end of the year chapter officer elections. A lot of times the competition is fierce and at in different organizations require a passing score on a test based off of the organization’s history, bylaws, and parliamentary procedure. It’s fair for these top notch clubs to want top notch students. If you are honestly and truly passionate about the organization you seek to represent, then running for office should be heavily in your favor.

Are these officer positions worth it? Students often look at these officer positions and consider them tons and tons of work. At some points they even drift off from their own personal goals to promote the organization and stray away from what they originally believed in. You can only imagine how difficult it is to run a state or even a local area conference. The amount of planning and consideration of numerous of other factors piles up on you if you’re not careful. At the same time, the election process itself is tiresome. Campaigning continually on a three day event can be the most exhausting thing you ever do.

With that in mind, these experiences are one hundred percent beneficial to your maturity as a future leader. The amount of diverse situations you find yourself in while serving under the executive council of your organization is incomparable to any other experience available to you as high school students. Just some of the many things possible scenarios includes sitting in and making a difference at professionally done board meetings, networking with people from across the nation, and establishing connections with adults and leaders within the organization.

The process to becoming an officer is tough. Being an officer and fulfilling your duties is even tougher. Assuming all of these responsibilities are all fairly demanding for high school students. Take on these challenges and begin to set yourself apart from everyone else. Get that experience no one has ever had and run for these officer positions. Remember the national president of any club you’ve joined had once began in your position. It all starts with the members.

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