Applicant Essay Reviews:

Thank you so much for your willingness to volunteer as an essay reviewer. Please review each essay below. There is a comment box below each answer. In each comment box, you need to include:

 

  1. Your score for each essay response (Scores 1-5)
  2. Your name

 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Wendy Frizzell at wendy@leadershiptyler.org. Thank you!

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

34

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

I believe civic involvement is actively engaging in community activities. As a professional accountant focused on financial and mindset transformation, I aim to combine financial expertise with mindset development in volunteer work over the next five years. By assisting organizations promoting financial literacy and mental wellness, I seek to inspire positive change and empower individuals to pursue success and fulfillment. My commitment to holistic well-being underscores the interconnectedness of financial stability, mindset, and personal growth, fostering resilience and positive transformation within individuals and the community.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

I expect to leverage my Leadership Tyler experience by integrating my background as a professional accountant specializing in financial and mindset transformation. I plan to contribute by offering insights on financial literacy and promoting a growth-oriented mindset within the class. My unique qualities include a strong commitment to holistic well-being, an understanding of the interconnectedness of financial stability and mindset development, and a passion for empowering individuals to achieve success and fulfillment. I aim to inspire positive change, foster resilience, and cultivate a culture of empowerment within the Leadership Tyler class through my diverse skill set and dedication to personal and community growth.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

An opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area lies in expanding remote job opportunities to boost economic growth and job accessibility. Remote work offers flexibility, attracts diverse talent, and can contribute to the region's prosperity. Personally, as a professional accountant specializing in mindset transformation and community empowerment, I aim to advocate for remote work policies, develop training programs for remote job skills, and connect businesses with resources to facilitate the transition to remote work. Additionally, I plan to hold virtual events to enhance financial awareness among business owners in the area. By promoting the benefits of remote work, supporting infrastructure enhancements, and creating more remote job opportunities, I can drive positive change, generate employment opportunities, and contribute to the economic development of Tyler and Smith County.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

As a single mom dedicated to caring for my daughter since day one, I faced a significant moment when I felt pressure to compromise my integrity. Despite being offered a job with appealing benefits that required long hours, which would have taken away valuable time from my daughter, I decided to open my own business while working full-time remotely. Prioritizing my daughter's well-being and my core values, I chose to pursue entrepreneurship as a way to provide for us financially while ensuring I could still be emotionally and physically available for her. By taking this path, I demonstrated resilience, discipline, and a strong commitment to maintaining my integrity. This decision not only reinforced my dedication to my values but also strengthened the bond between me and my daughter, underscoring the importance of prioritizing family and personal integrity above external pressures.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

38

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

I believe civic and community involvement is merely the act of volunteering or donating to support a cause, but with the intention to create fundamental change in a cause that you’re passionate about. The difference between the two is subtle, but holistically supporting a cause that you are wholly dedicated to has a long lasting impact. Not only for the individuals that you serve, but the community as a whole.
I am personally passionate about helping children that are experiencing hardship. In 2013, I signed up to be a mentor in PATH’s “Bev’s Kid Reach” program. I am still involved in his life to this day, and I am so proud of the growth he has shown as a young man, and am excited to be a part of his life going forward.
I have a strong desire to learn more about my community to help dictate my service moving forward. The city of Tyler has many city boards and commissions that rely on volunteers, and I am very much interested in being a public servant or a member of a civic board in the future.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

I have worked at the East Texas Food Bank for 12 years, side-by-side many other nonprofits, and am well aware of the struggles that many of our neighbors have on a daily basis. In addition to this professional experience, my family has also personally experienced poverty and relied on many of the resources that the East Texas Food Bank and our partners provide. Unfortunately, this does not qualify as a unique experience, as many children in our community rely on the National School Lunch Program, food pantries, and food stamps. However, coupled with my leadership experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, I am distinctively equipped to identify how these two can work together to address underlying issues and create a stronger community.
The Food Bank has committed to providing me professional development opportunities for future leadership openings. I very much look forward to obtaining additional leadership and stewardship skills from Leadership Tyler to help me capitalize on these opportunities to better serve the community. My hope will be to identify how to not only help educate the community on the needs of our neighbors, but also to galvanize our citizens into action, ultimately leading towards building a better Tyler for us all.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

The City of Tyler and East Texas in general are blessed to have a multitude of nonprofit organizations that care deeply for our citizens, as well as individuals that do not hesitate to support our missions. Unfortunately, I also see that many are not aware of the pure amount of people needing assistance, what their needs are, and what organizations or services exist to address them. Educating our citizens is the clear solution to this opportunity, but the best method of doing so is not as clear.
This is my third time applying for this program. I truly believe that Leadership Tyler can play an incredibly important role in creating a strong vision for my team and learning how to achieve a greater perspective on being a strong leader in my job but also in the community. Leadership Tyler helps provide validity to the individuals and organizations that participate, which helps create trust with the general public. I would love to have the opportunity to learn more about our community through this program, and learn how we can more effectively inform our community on specific needs and how they can help.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

Several years ago, the East Texas Food Bank had an event called “The Roadshow” that focused on bringing community services alongside a food distribution at a local organization’s parking lot. Food distributions typically attract several hundred participants, so our goal was to take advantage of this popularity to introduce additional community resources to attendees. The response was overwhelming! Preventative medical screenings, WIC, Region VII Education Services Center, and many more were excited to participate.
I eventually received a call from a payday loan business wishing to join. Payday loans are considered predatory for reasons like targeting vulnerable populations, high interest rates, and lack of regulation. I politely declined their participation and thanked them for their interest. It turned out the individual knew the owner of the facility, and threatened to cancel the event and inform the Food Bank CEO if they could not participate.
I believe that adversity is nothing but an opportunity to display your true character, and I am proud to say that I did not compromise my convictions in this instance. Doing so would have put a potentially harmful “resource” in front of the people that we serve and shine a light of hypocrisy on the East Texas Food Bank.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

40

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

Civic/Community involvement to me is being involved in different areas and helping to make a difference in what is going on in the community around you and being aware of when and where important events are happening. In the next 5 years, I expect to be volunteering and attending events that I will be able to help serve at. I currently am serving on the Board of the Angel Layettes and plan to be there for a minimum of 3 years. My passion is helping young people that might not be able to help themselves yet, or be put in situations they cannot control. I really enjoy helping high school students because I believe the end of high school is what really sets your future career path. If these students find people that will invest in them and support them, they are more likely to go to college or that job that they can turn into a career to better their own future. I can see LT getting me connected with the right people to help these young adults or even introduce me to an existing program that focuses on helping high school kids. In the next 5 years I hope to learn a lot about board experience and will be looking to serve on another board that helps people. I also plan to either grow my non-profit or get involved with someone that has a better established one focusing on the youth.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

I expect to utilize my LT experience by getting more involved in local organizations and contributing to the effectiveness of each organization and its specific characteristics. I have unique qualities of organizing, listening, being welcoming and putting plans into action. LT will help me expand my knowledge on areas of the community that I may currently not be aware of. The experience will also help me see additional strengths I currently have and how to best serve my community through the process. I expect Leadership Tyler to get me out of my comfort zone, but I expect that to not only benefit me and hopefully the ones around me. Serving on Catalyst 100 2 years in a row has opened many doors for me, meeting successful mentors with the same goal as me to help people and invest in Tyler. I hope to sustain these relationships and be able to invest in Tyler and be a mentor for those around me one day. Knowing what is going on around Tyler and being about to utilize that information in my everyday job is helpful to keep people informed and wanting to invest in Tyler themselves.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

I see the growth of Tyler/Smith County as an opportunity to show others in our area all the diverse and unique items that our area has to offer. There are so many new businesses coming to our area that there truly is something for everyone. I like the small-town feel of Tyler but also like that there are so many opportunities available in many different fields. I could help promote businesses that are new or not well known by volunteering and getting the word out about all that Tyler has to offer. I run social media for my own non-profit and the company I work for. Anytime I try a new family-owned or local business I try my best to post on social media letting my following know these places are out there. I enjoy watching Tyler grow and supporting local businesses in our area. With the UT Med School coming to Tyler I see Tyler growing abundantly. The company I work for, HGR, is a partner in the construction of the new Med School, so I am seeing the impact it has already made to Tyler. I anticipate many families moving to this area looking for growth and opportunities for the well-being of their families. A change i would like to see is Tyler supporting Tyler, encouraging people to utilize all the good we have to offer here instead of leaving town for the same thing.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

I had a training role where I would train new hires at the bank. During that time, we would normally build a relationship. Someone who I had previously trained a year before, started working at the location where I was now in a management position. My manager and I held our team to certain expectations, and our team was respectful of that. This new team member tried compromising the rules a few times by being late, not doing her job to the best of her ability and being more laid back than most. Each time I would confront her, her response was always “well we are friends, so you’ve got my back”. I had a hard time at first finding that role of being a boss and a friend, I realized I am here to be a boss for this company, and after hours we can be friends. The end result turned out good, we had a serious talk about the expectations of her and all the employees at this location and that friendship was when you are off the clock. Currently I do better at setting those boundaries up front, letting them know I am available for personal conversations. I believe in a healthy and happy work environment, I never want people to feel like their job is something they want to come in, and can trust to have these conversations but also maintain the respect of the workplace.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

42

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

I would define civic/community involvement as using your personal and professional resources to improve the quality of life for the people in your community. In my personal life, I expect to continue to be a volunteer at my church in the worship band and help in the children's day care area. I also have a passion for health and fitness, I've learned so much about our specific demographic here in East Texas. I hope to be involved with encouraging healthy habits, focusing on small changes that can promote a healthier lifestyle. Professionally, I would like to obtain my FACHE (Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives) and volunteer in this organization to improve the lives of the medical professionals who provide important care for our community.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

I expect to gain insight into the efforts so many individuals give to our community and how I can learn from this leadership group to improve the way I think and lead in my personal and professional life. According to Culture Index, I have the attributes of a Rainmaker. Culture Index is a company that focuses on strategic team building by incorporating key individuals to drive growth and create value. This profile highlights flexibility, independent thinking, can employ imaginative solutions and is open to new processes and concepts. I also have experience as a change agent in my organization. Considering and implementing change are vital components of growth and expansion. I can bring this perspective to Leadership Tyler.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

I am a bit of a dreamer. I think an incredible opportunity for the greater Tyler region would be to develop a multiuse outdoor space as a destination for local communities outside of Tyler to come visit and a retreat for Tyler residents to take their families to enjoy. There are several communities that offer these amenities and would complement the current offerings of Tyler well. I would love to be involved with pitching this idea and developing a pro forma for local investors to partner with the City of Tyler.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

As a director, I have authority to approve and process purchase order requests. I also partner and work closely with vendors who provide key products for the services we offer at the hospital. There are some political dynamics at play in healthcare and early on I was approached by a vendor to process an expensive bulk order at the end of their fiscal cycle. This would provide us a discount on product we were guaranteed to use and help them meet a quota that I'm sure was tied to a bonus. Instead of just saying yes, I consulted some experts on this request and asked for guidance. We reviewed the product usage history and confirmed it would exceed our monthly budget and sit on the shelf for too long to be the best decision for the hospital. Under the weight of "helping out" a vendor who has become a close friend, we made the right decision and I learned it's best to ask for help when I don't know what the best decision should be.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

43

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

In general I view civic/community involvement as participating in various programming and events that serve a particular group or groups. Some participation is purposeful whereas other is voluntary. In my present role I envision being involved with various activities related to the practice of pharmacy. Most activities will be partnerships with other pharmacy organizations, healthcare disciplines or organizations. The pharmacy students require supervision and I hope to serve in this capacity. At other times I may participate based on interest.
Being new I have not yet identified any particular organizations, local, health care related, religious or otherwise. Availability is the largest hurdle.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

My interests are pure, I want to meet others and learn more about the region. I hope to use this information to better guide administrative decisions related to future direction and goals.
I have been an academic administrator for close to 20 years, and have participated in several leadership training programs, read books and undertaken other programming. I bring skills learned and experiences across a breadth of environments. I have supervised individuals at various levels and dealt with many human resource related issues. Sadly despite these experiences, I am challenged daily with new occurrences.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

Pharmacy practice is still very much focused on the product, distribution of medications. Pharmacists can do so much more in collaboration with other providers. There is opportunity to advance pharmacy practices in partnership with other pharmacists/pharmacies across the region.
Ensuring better medication selection and thereafter adherence is an area of passion and need in the region.
There is a pharmacist shortage in the region. Individuals will come here and stay a year or so to obtain experience then move on to other areas. I hope to help reduce this attrition, keeping good people in the region, dedicated to being part of the healthcare team.
I am currently working on these endeavors, building relationships. While I hope to remain involved, considering responsibilities, will need to include other members of my team to ensure longitudinal participation.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

The instance that came to mind was an altercation had with a peer at another institution. The peer had been antagonistic for years and unfortunately I lost myself, making comments for which I regret. I immediately discussed with my supervisor. My supervisor incorporated a plan for us both to not directly engage with one another for a specified period of time. When this ended and we had mended relationships, he asked me to continue to placate the individual. Initially I complied, however this goes against my moral compass of being truthful and authentic. I therefore spoke with my supervisor and informed that I could no longer comply and that moving forward requested he not request this type of action again. Of course I had no intention of repeating these behaviors, but there may have been other requests, different circumstances.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

45

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

For me, civic/community involvement means attending and participating in public meetings, and becoming and staying informed on the issues that effect our community. This includes serving on boards, attending public meetings, volunteering in different environments when possible, and advocating to improve our community.

I have already begun my civic/community involvement as I have been attending city council meetings for a year, MPO and transit public meetings, and meeting and I am meeting regularly with the transit director. I have also met with my city councilman, and I am fairly well known to the mayor and the city council as well as various city department heads. I have already been asked to submit an application to serve on a city board and will submit the application at the appropriate time this summer. In addition to serving on a city board, I plan to continue the civic activities stated above.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

I plan to use my Leadership Tyler experience by serving on a city board, continuing my advocacy on important issues in our community, and finding ways to improve life for the citizens of Tyler.

I bring the perspective of a person with a disability whose primary ways of getting around our community are walking and public transit, as I am not currently driving. I also bring my past board and leadership experience from previous communities where I resided. This included serving for four years from 2002-2006 on the Summit County Colorado Transit Board, with two of those years as Chair. I was also named by Summit County to serve as one of their two representatives to a much broader, region wide transit planning group tasked with updating the Intermountain Transit portion of the statewide twenty five year transportation plan. Additionally, I have prior leadership training, being a 2006 Graduate of Leadership Program of the Rockies.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

The biggest opportunity I see in Tyler is planning for the future with a graying population, before and after they stop driving. This includes, but is not limited to: pedestrian connectivity, improved transit, increasing regional transit and transportation connections, and the volume of flights available. Also included is increasing the availability of recreational and intellectual enrichment opportunities. An example why of this is necessary is that in the most recent Recreation and Parks Department Master Plan update they are not even talking about beginning to plan for a recreation and/or senior center to be built in the central or southern parts of the city until the end of the decade.

This planning is necessary because Tyler is the economic, educational, and medical hub of East Texas. If not planned for and addressed now, it will be too late once the need explodes.

My personal engagement with these issues is already underway as I advocate, attend meetings, work with city departments and plan to serve on a city board. After the most recent MPO Transportation Plan Update public meeting, I was interviewed by KLTV Channel 7 and spoke on these very issues. I plan to continue all of my current activities and add service on a city board to these activities.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

An example that comes to mind was in 2016, not long after I began working for the U.S. General Services Administration, I realized quickly that my “Get it done” mentality conflicted with their “Government employee” mindset. This incurred resentment among several of my coworkers who made attempts to sabotage me. Having come from the private sector, both my approach and attitude were very different from career government employees. I ignored these attempts to compromise my integrity. Vindication later came in the form of receiving awards for the quality of my work and rebuilding client relationships with FEMA and the Veterans Administration.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

46

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

Civic and community involvement is about being an active, engaged member of the community - utilizing one's skills, passion, and available time to make a positive impact. It means looking beyond oneself and personal interests to identify ways to address community needs and challenges. True civic engagement requires an investment of effort, not just financial contributions.

Over the next 5 years, I expect to deepen my involvement within the community as I grow in my leadership role at my organization. I am drawn to organizations focused on youth development and mental health. Having benefited from opportunities myself, I feel a responsibility to help provide those same chances to the next generation.
Additionally, I hope to continue to grow in my role. In this role, I can leverage my professional skills in strategic planning, fundraising, and community outreach to drive the organization's mission forward. By helping more youth be more resilient, we can begin making a stronger, healthier East Texas.

Civic engagement isn't just about writing checks. It's the investment of one's time, talents, and passion toward strengthening the community. I'm committed to rolling up my sleeves and continuing that work over the next 5 years.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

The Leadership Tyler program provides invaluable training that I plan to apply directly in both my professional and civic endeavors. The skills gained around effective communication, collaboration, strategic thinking, and motivating others are totally transferable. In my career, I will draw upon this knowledge to better understand diverse perspectives, build cohesive teams, and drive initiatives forward successfully.

I expect to utilize my LT experience to elevate my impact in the community. Having a deeper understanding of the issues facing our region, coupled with an expanded network of committed leaders, will allow me to get more invested in local causes. 



The quality I would most aim to bring to a Leadership Tyler class is a spirit of humble curiosity.

While I have academic and professional achievements, I know there are always new lessons to learn - especially from those with different backgrounds and experiences than my own. My goal would be to ask questions, listen intently, and synthesize various viewpoints.

With the right mindset and practical toolkit from Leadership Tyler, I believe I can amplify my impact as a civic leader and community builder. It's an opportunity I would not take lightly.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

One of the most critical needs I see in our community is reducing the stigma associated with mental health challenges and seeking professional help. Far too many people still view mental illness through an antiquated lens of shame and weakness. This prevents them from getting the care and support they need to heal and thrive.
The consequences are devastating - individuals suffering in silence, families struggling without resources, and lives tragically cut short from untreated conditions. We must normalize open conversations about mental health in the same way we discuss physical health issues. Mental health is health.

As a leader, I would use my voice to advocate for greater mental health education, awareness, and access to affordable services throughout Tyler and Smith County. Within my sphere of influence, I would model vulnerability in discussing my own experiences with stress, anxiety, or other mental health matters. This can help break down walls and show there is no shame in getting help.

Additionally, I would prioritize partnerships between local businesses, schools, faith organizations, and mental health providers.
If we can shift the cultural narrative through education and prioritize affordable, high-quality mental healthcare, we can improve lives and save lives.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

I was a young marketing manager at the time, working on a major campaign for a new product launch. As we neared the release date, sales projections were falling dramatically short of targets. There was immense pressure from leadership to inflate the numbers in our advertising to make it seem like consumer demand would be through the roof.
They tried to convince me it was just harmless “marketing language” that every company engages in. But I recognized it as a deception of our customers and shareholders. I pushed back, citing how this violated our core values around honesty and transparency. A vice president pulled me aside and warned me that my stance could jeopardize my future at the company.

In that moment, I had to make a choice - abandon my integrity to preserve my job and status or risk it all to do what I knew was right. Ultimately, I informed leadership that I couldn’t proceed with deceptive tactics under any circumstances. It was an ethical breach I wasn't willing to make.

The blowback was severe, but I held my ground. I ended up leaving that job, but ultimately the campaign was rolled back and their brand suffered due to the misleading marketing.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

47

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

I define civic duty as being an active participant in many facets of your local community for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life for both you and fellow community members as a collective whole. This can be achieved by being present at large community events, but more so at the micro level by taking an active role in a multitude of smaller community organizations and / or boards. It is through this intentionality of collaborating with other local community members with diverse backgrounds that can help the community evolve and grow as the city expands and social norms change over time.

I believe, holding an executive leadership position for your company comes with expectations that you should be giving back to the community through volunteering, being involved in community events, and holding board positions. I have been involved with the Chamber of Commerce and Tyler Young Professionals Network over the past year along with being on the City of Chandler Planning and Zoning board. My intention in obtaining acceptance into Leadership Tyler would be to use the skills learned to take the next step and obtain a board position for a non-profit organization as I have a desire to help our community.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

The reason for my application for enrollment in Leadership Tyler is the opportunity and desire to collaborate with other leaders in the community and building lasting relationships with my other potential classmates. I view Leadership Tyler as a prestigious opportunity to learn and be trained on how to be a stronger leader not only in my own company, but more importantly in the community as well.

After reviewing what Leadership Tyler has to offer in terms of critical issue, key leadership skills, and community trusteeship, I believe I have a good base to grow upon these skills and would take the opportunity if selected with the upmost professionalism and utilize Leadership Tyler's training in the community. Along with having previous leadership roles on the City of Chandler Chamber of Commerce and Chandler Planning and Zoning Board, I have a degree from the UT Tyler in Sociology and minor in psychology. This training has helped me establish the ability to have an open and caring mind to people from all walks of life and cultures. I truly believe in the importance of collaborating with people from different backgrounds and socio-economic classes to ensure all voices of opinion on a certain subject are heard so the best decision can be made for the collective whole.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

An area I believe Tyler has an opportunity to improve is in the mental health and behavioral health areas. I do not believe this is an issue that is only attributable in our city, but really as a state as a whole. According to Mental Health America, Texas ranks LAST in access to mental healthcare. Over the course of the last decade, I believe the stigma with mental health has diminished, however where our citizens can obtain help is still lacking, especially for our youth in East Texas, who has seen a 30% rise in anxiety and depression, mostly due to social media. My senior year of college at UT Tyler I interned at the Andrews Center and I saw firsthand the multitude of challenges our citizens with mental and behavioral health issues really face and this is another reason why I see the opportunity for growth.

I believe the Andrews Center putting on the Mental Health Summit on May 7th is a massive step in the right direction, and I will be attending this summit. From there, we as a community need to build on that momentum with continuing education seminars, fundraisers, and spreading the word of the resources available to our community. I plan on contacting the Andew's Venter and filling out their volunteer application to see if I can obtain a position on its CPAC Committee.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

My profession as a banker comes inherently with a set of high moral standards and expectations to uphold these to the highest degree possible. I started my banking career as a part time teller approximately 14 years ago. Being a teller and a front-line employee comes with the additional opportunities to have your standards pushed to the limits when you have customers standing in front of you. One time I had helped a customer with an unusual situation and went above and beyond to take care of the customer and find a resolution. A few weeks later the customer came back in with a gift for me that I certainty would have liked to keep, however we had a strict standard at that company that we are to not accept any gifts as it could affect your judgement and decision making in future transactions. I expressed gratitude but informed the customer that I could not accept the gift which created an awkward situation where now they are embarrassed, and you feel bad for causing that feeling. The customer continued to press the issue of me accepting the gift stating they would not tell anyone however I knew that I would know. It is always in these moments you have that feeling in your stomach that you need to make a decision and set your standard or you will regret taking the easy way out.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

49

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

In my opinion, civic and community involvement is when you volunteer your time, coordinate resources, and/or donate money towards efforts that better the community. While local government has its limitations due to the resources available, a city can truly flourish when dedicated individuals invest their time and effort back into their community. As a mother of two, I currently focus my volunteer efforts towards Caldwell Arts Academy and Tyler ISD-related projects.
We are so fortunate to live in a town that offers such excellent public schooling for so many different kinds of children. Caldwell is the perfect example of a school that teaches children to think outside the box and learn that it is ok to see the world differently. Through the Caldwell Arts Alliance, we are able to sponsor Master Teacher Classes, Art Integration Programs, provide supplies through teacher grants, and much more. This way all children at Caldwell can expand their education without worry about affording these programs.
In order to maintain a thriving community, you have to foster children who are integrated and supported by that community. After all, the hope is that one day those same children will be a part of what makes Tyler, Texas thrive for many years to come.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

I am thrilled about the opportunity to expand my knowledge and understanding of our city. I see myself as somewhat of an ambassador for our town, always eager to share my latest restaurant discoveries or enjoyable outings with my children. I am passionate about learning more about what makes our town special and would love to share these insights with the broader community.
What’s unique about my experience is I have been fully invested in the revitalization of Downtown Tyler for the past six years. As a team, we have poured so much love and energy into creating a welcoming, safe, fun, and inclusive community in Downtown Tyler. As someone who was raised coming to Distant Lands coffee shop and the Tyler Civic Theater on the Square, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the heart of our city come back to life.
By tapping into Leadership Tyler’s resources, I'm confident I would gain fresh insights to benefit our community and simultaneously promote Downtown Tyler's offerings to others.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

Inclusivity and education: From what I saw and heard, many Tylerites had an uncomfortable reaction to the USA Today article and the potential population growth associated with reaching such a large audience. However…. what an opportunity!! We should seize this opportunity to assess what makes Tyler and East Texas so special and share that with our growing community. We also have the opportunity to incorporate these newfound Tyler residents into our culture. Instead of seeing population growth as another reason traffic is hard to manage, let’s see how we can get these residents involved in our community. Do they have any insight to bring? Are they looking for a non-profit to support? Do they have extra time to volunteer?

Now that we've agreed that new residents are a positive addition to our city, how can we connect with them effectively? I believe organizing a "Newcomers Mixer" could be a fun and inclusive event, bringing together organizations like Heart of Tyler, PATH, Junior League, and others to warmly welcome our new residents and college students to town.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

I worked for a small business for nearly 15 years, starting at a young age and gradually climbing the ranks from a server to the Employee Relations Manager by the end of my tenure. Over time, I found myself in situations where I had to manage individuals who had once been my peers. In a small business setting, long-term employees often become close friends and even feel like family.
Regrettably, we faced a challenging situation when a beloved and respected bartender, who had been with the company for a long time, sexually harassed another employee. This is a position you never think you will be put in, but the bartender had to be terminated and ultimately face legal consequences. Although I considered this employee a friend, there is no question I had to do what was right. We had to set an example to our team that that kind of behavior would not be tolerated, we had to protect our employees, and we had to make sure that our server knew that they were safe while working with our company. Working with people can be very messy, but it is so important to make sure that you understand your personal morals and values and never, ever compromise them, and always operate with honor and integrity.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

52

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

The definition of Civic/Community involvement means making your city or community a better place to live. We should all stive to leave this world a better place than when we entered it. We must make it a priority in our lives to give back. Everyone can get involved. It can be as simple as taking a plastic grocery bag with you to the park and picking up trash as your child swings, volunteering at a non-profit such as the food bank to prepare meals, or giving financially to community projects. With the advancement of social media, an individual could make a post in their neighborhood group about a talent that they have and would like to pass on to someone else. Example: Retired teachers might offer free tutoring after school to local kids. It is a beautiful thing to come together young and old, to make a lasting impact. "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
I hope to be involved in many community volunteer experiences within the next 5 years. I would love to serve on a board of a non-profit. I would love to start a community garden and donate the food to anyone that does not have fresh produce. I would love to be able to solve world hunger. As a simple man once said, I have a dream....

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

I will utilize my experience at leadership Tyler to connect with businesses, individuals, and non-profits to further grow my community involvement. We work better as a team, than as individuals. Meeting other people and brainstorming ideas about how we can more effectively help our community and make a lasting impact would be the greatest take away for me. I have been blessed to have traveled the world and experienced many diverse cultures, governments, religions, etc. This gives me a unique perspective. I lived in England and Italy, both for a year. I have experienced different communities and can bring some insight into what makes a community grow and flourish.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

The number one thing that I see as an opportunity for change in Smith County is economic and geographic unity. When I first moved to Tyler 10 years ago, I would take my children to parks all over the area. One thing that made a lasting impact on me, is how nice the park equipment was and how well the parks were maintained closer to higher economic neighborhoods. I also noticed how many churches were in the area. I thought to myself, what if every church adopted a park? This would help create community involvement in the neighborhood and hopefully the church. It is simple, do what you can where you can. I would love to organize small mailbox sized food pantries around the city, help with community gardens, and unify the community in any way possible.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

I was an accountant in my previous career. I was asked to do some things that I knew were breaking the law. I scheduled a meeting with the boss and privately asked if he knew the things that I was being asked to do. When he admitted that he was aware, I respectfully told him that I would never do anything that would jeopardize my freedom. I was not willing to break the law for anyone or anything. I gave him the option of hiring someone else, that I would train, before I left. My boss accepted the offer and after eight more weeks of working there, I hired and trained someone else for the job.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

54

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

I see civic / community involvement as the collaboration of leaders and supporters giving their time, expertise and heart to shared needs in their area. Some People Give, Some Get. Some Do, Some Teach. It’s the collective efforts that can created needed change or preserve what is already in place.
Over the next five years I plan to continue as the PATH Board Treasurer and continue volunteering with Junior Achievement as the Past Chair by teaching the JA curriculum because I believe financial literacy aids in young adult success.
My personal mission is to work with more women going through traumatic life events such as death or divorce. My skillset from wealth management in addition to the softer skills of human behavior will help these women to better thrive in their next chapter of life.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

My expectations of LT Core participation is to expand my network of community leaders as well as gain a better understanding and appreciation of our area. While I have been in Tyler almost 10 years and served in various role, I realize there is much more to experience and learn. I look forward to jumping into these new exposure and embracing this class cohort as its own intimate community.

My unique qualities that I will bring to the LT class is my maturity in life such as being a mother or a woman with over 25 years of professional employment. While Tyler has many impressive employers in town, my unique experience within a large international corporation will allow me to share different approaches and resources. I have attended many leadership programs including Leadership Texas and management or supervisory trainings all over the country. I look forward to receiving other classmate or providers insights as well.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

I see the opportunity in Tyler to focus on change in the areas of female empowerment. We certainly have a great community of women volunteers, leaders and caregivers but I would like to see a better embracement of non traditional circumstances such as single working mothers or divorced women.
Personally, I can contribute to this change by allowing myself to be vulnerable to increase the volume of my voice. I show up and will do the heavy lifting but I can’t say I have used my experiences to be confident in voicing change and would like to work on this. A single mother of two teens that also hold down a challenging career, I would like to see more changes for these women to come together to find the resources they need.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

Once I was challenged by an existing client that was my largest relationship professionally. During a time of change in the business, I had to have a one on one meeting offsite at a restaurant with him. Although we had worked together for years and I brought him very good investment solutions, he said he wanted more from me in terms of involvement with him intimately. This was a very uncomfortable situation and I could have pacified the situation or danced around the offer but I responded firmly and professionally that I was not going to jeopardize my personal or professional relationships for his proposal. I lost him as a client from my lack of participation. It was one of my best professional decisions. Not only to preserve my own values but because it lead me to be a better leaders for others when I share the details of the experience.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

56

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

Civic community involvement to me is doing things in the community to make it better. My involvement in the next 5 years would be joining several community associations to learn what needs are essential in my community.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

This leadership experience would benefit me by becoming a better community leader in my professional and personal life. I feel my qualities that I would bring are great communication skillI wI s, effective work ethics and empathy.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

I would like to see Tyler change in housing for low income and homeless individuals and families. After serving meals and giving out blankets under the bridge I seen the need for this. I would love to open a shelter where they would be able to stay until they get back on their feet.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

While working at a previous company I was asked to neglect the residents because the supplies they needed was rarely available. I immediately left that job after 12 years.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

58

Essay Question 1: How do you define civic/community involvement? What civic/community volunteer experience do you expect to be involved in within the next five years?

Civic involvement for me is addressing current issues in the community and work towards solving those problems amicably.
I am a member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, also referred to as NAREB, and our main focus is Democracy in housing. I want to address the housing crisis and affordable homes shortage in Tyler while educating the community about financial literacy and its importance of generational wealth. I currently partner with the city of Tyler’s Housing Authority and will continue to build that relationship in hopes of helping continue to bring awareness to all the available resources out there.

Essay Question 2: How do you expect to utilize your Leadership Tyler experience? What unique qualities will you bring to a Leadership Tyler class?

I will utilize my Leadership Tyler experience by making genuine connections in the city to be a resource and a servant of and for the people in the community.
My qualities include most importantly having a servants heart. I love people and am passionate about helping others achieve their goals no matter the adversity they think they are facing. I’d like to provide the quality of relatability. I feel I’m approachable and can work with all demographics. That in my opinion is a very key factor that would be a crucial aspect.

Essay Question 3: What do you see as an opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area? Why? How could you be personally engaged in this opportunity?

As I previously stated, I’d love to see more affordable housing in Tyler/Smith County. I’d continue to work with the city of Tyler’s Housing Authority and other organizations to help make that possible. I would continue to educate families and individuals about credit, homeownership, and what it means to be a homeowner for not only themselves but future generations. I would work with other groups and organizations who are also involved with my similar interests and just be open to whatever opportunities and possibilities that comes my way.

Essay Question 4: Discuss a time when you felt pressure to compromise an element of your personal integrity. How did youhandle it?

I’m a right is right person no matter who it is that’s involved.
There was a time that a group I was working with wanted to oust another person under a lot of accusations that had not been substantiated. I felt that it was not the right way to handle it and stood my ground on not being a part of the decision to do so even if it meant I would be pushed out as well. After deep consideration it was agreed that it wasn’t right to do that without the proof so me standing my ground proved to be the right thing to do.