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

This is a Test Essay Question number 1.

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 is a test essay question number two.

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?

This is a test essay question number 3

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

This is a test essay question number 4

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

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

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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?

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

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

Essay

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

Answers

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?

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

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

Testing essay question 1

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

Testing essay question 2

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?

Testing essay question 3

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

Testing essay question 4

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

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

I will let you know.

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

These are thought-provoking questions!

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?

Wow!

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

I answered these questions very quickly. (obviously)
They are great questions, though.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

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

blah blah blah

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

blah blah blah

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?

blah blah blah

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

blah blah

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

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

I don't

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

To make more money

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?

Smith county is fine the way it is

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

I don't compromise

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

This is my answer

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 awesome answer

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 don't know what to say

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

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

Civic/community involvement is anything that adds value instead of taking away to the community where you belong. I expect to continue to be involved in community outreach through Dayspring Methodist, Boy Scouts, and through my job with TxDOT.

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 the leadership skills to grow as a supervisor and to better understand the needs for transportation and impacts in the community. Unique qualities I possess are an engineering design background with planning/programming skills

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?

With community growth, I see an opportunity for change with innovative solutions to roadway design. I oversee the programming for future transportation projects for the Tyler District which positions me to engage in the unique needs of our community.

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

In the past, I have been asked to design for acquaintances’ engineering projects outside my expertise and offered payment. I have handled this situation by explaining the conflict and offer to help them find an engineer that fits their needs.

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

Civic/Community involvement is engaging with community organizations and individuals to help the community thrive.

Within the next five years, I expect to be involved in new coordinated community response efforts to keep survivors of violence safe, reduce risk of homicide, and hold offenders accountable. I also seek to establish a more developed volunteer role to combat sex trafficking and the exploitation of young girls in the East Texas 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?

If given the opportunity, I will utilize the experience to better serve the East Texas community through advocacy, policy change, education, support, and volunteer efforts that lead to keeping East Texans safe and increase support for survivors of violent crime. I am a heterosexual, middle-aged white man, I probably don't bring any unique qualities to the class. However, I am one of the few men in East Texas who works directly in violence prevention and victim advocacy, so I hold a perspective that most likely differs from other men which might be considered unique.

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 an opportunity for community engagement in coordinated response efforts to violence prevention and victim safety. I believe there is room for growth and collaboration between entities that will increase communication, build effective strategies, and create policy change. The saying, "It takes a village" holds true in many different context, and caring for the well-being of others is not excluded. It isn't popular to talk about, but the effects of violence permeate our community, Whether through domestic violence, sexual assault, or sex trafficking, each of these issues are prevalent in East Texas and we must acknowledge their impact. My role with the organization I work for, the East Texas Crisis Center, and the volunteering I do with For The Silent allows me to gain insight into the areas where gaps need to be filled, and ways we can overcome obstacles to build strong relationships that support a safe, proactive community.

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

I filled out an application to be a recipient of funding which required participating in an event. In the application it asked specifically that employees from the organization participate. Leading up to event day, I was approached by a co-worker (fellow director) and asked to replace staff with volunteers. I empathized with their reasoning to let them know I understood it caused a major inconvenience, but I reiterated the point that we must maintain the integrity of the organization as well as our own, and I am going to honor my word.

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

I believe Civic/Community Involvement is anything that gives back to the individuals within the community. I believe that time is the most precious gift we have and giving of our time is the biggest aid in helping others. I plan on volunteering in programs that directly help the youth in this 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 would like to connect with other members in the community as well as grasp a better understanding of Tyler. I have over 15 years in the banking industry but also am a multi-faceted individual with a long history of being involved in my community.

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 honestly not aware of any changes needed, but am always for helping the youth, whether as a positive mentor for their situation or aiding their future by providing financial training. I would be able to facilitate any financial training.

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

I am not the type to compromise any element of my personal integrity, but in any situation I handle it professionally and respectfully,

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

I define civic duty as obeying the laws, voting, and paying taxes. I define community duty as volunteering on a regular basis both publicly and privately. Both acts contribute positively to my local community as I actively engage in activities that help to foster to a better quality of life for others, especially those who are less fortunate.

I expect to be involved in numerous volunteer opportunities as I serve as a city council representative once I am elected. Most recently I joined the League of Women Voters and The East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN). In the past I have volunteered for Women's Job Corps, Salvation Army, Goodwill, Black Nurses Rock, NAACP and several local churches. I plan to become a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, PATH, Special Health Resources and Bethesda Clinic. My anticipation is to be introduced to different volunteer opportunities as I serve in my role in municipal government.

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 Leadership Tyler experience to better serve my community by sharing my knowledge and skills to others in need of mentorship, leading by example, taking on difficult tasks, initiating change/ progress, advocating for unity, collaboration, inclusion and diversity, working with other leaders to exchange ideas and leverage from each other's strengths.

I will bring extreme positivity to the Leadership Tyler class! I will bring good energy/ vibes, open-mindedness, laughter, calmness, knowledge, multiple skills, innovative ideas, enthusiasm, kindness, loyalty, and overall altruism!

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 Tyler/Smith County area that I could be personally engaged is assisting in converting renters to home owners. There is a need for more low to moderate income housing communities to accommodate first time homebuyers.. We have several income-based, multi-family properties, but not many income-based subdivisions. I am a licensed real estate agent and have met with Tyler's Neighborhood Services committees, local builders/ developers, other real estate colleagues/ real estate brokers, credit repair companies and citizens. After speaking with these groups, we all understood and agree that many individuals and families actually already qualify for financing, but there is a lack of affordable housing options. Once elected to city council, I would be able to collaborate with different local, state and federal agencies to brainstorm about ways to progressively develop more affordable housing options.

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

I felt pressure to compromise an element of my personal integrity a couple of years ago when I was chosen for jury duty. We had listened to numerous days of testimony and when it came down to voting on a verdict, I, and one other juror, did not feel there was sufficient evidence presented to vote "guilty" beyond a reasonable doubt. The other jurors got very upset with me. We also were sequestered for a night. Anyway, we returned the next day and still could not come to a unanimous decision because I sill refused to vote "yes" for lack of enough evidence to find this man guilty (beyond a reasonable doubt). The situation ended in a hung jury, but I was fine with that because my conscience was clear. There were others that felt the same as I but chose to vote guilty to "get it over with".

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

I would define civic/community involvement as taking action by working with those in your community towards improved socioeconomic factors. I believe this can be a very broad scope and all equally important. As a new father I believe that I have a responsiblity to wholeheartedly invest my extra time and effort towards organizations, parks, civic boards and committees that I believe will benefit or improve my childs experience growing up in Tyler, Tx. As an avid mountain biker I have a passion towards outdoor recreation and stewardship towards the trails, parks, and resources that we are free to use in the comunity.

I expect to be engaged in organizing events hosted by the Rose City Cycling Club, in trailbuilding at Faulkner park and Lindsey park through the East Texas Trail Advocates organization, by being involved with the South Tyler Rotary Club which I was inducted to last week, in conservation and cleanup efforts at Tyler State Park, and coaching/leading youth sports as my daughter gets older. I also would like to find a way to combine my passiton for the outdoors and the Visit Tyler committee.

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

With experience from Leadership Tyler I expect to be able to more effectively contribute when it comes to organizations that I believe will shape the coming generation. I would expect that being an alumni of leadership tyler would equip me to build more effective relationships in the area. I can think of many times where simply knowing the right people in the community would resolve an issue weather it is a shortage of resources someone else may have in abundance or a connection needed to help accomplish a goal.

As far as the qualities I can bring to the table, I have developed a strong foundation of finance, a desire to work with my hands, an outgoing personality and a passion for building and creating things. This helps me have a unique drive but also have a firm grasp on understanding what resources may be needed to complete a project or host a community event.

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?

Because of the decentralized nature of Smith County and the impressive amount of public land and growth of the area that infastructure and public land is of paramount importance. I am still learning about more ways I can be involved in these things outside of working through the organizeations I noted above, I know there are civic committees about these things.

I say public land because it is often the centerpiece of fellowship and community, and we have a responsibility to be a good steward of our resources. A vast majority of friendships I have made were made in these areas such as Faulkner Park. I believe that this town could be the next Bentonville, Arkansas if nurtured well.

I say infastructure because Smith County appears to have an abundance of 2-lane highways that create a dangerous situation for many people on the road. It seems that people around here can feel very rushed on these highways where we are having to come to a complete stop down from a 50mph speed limit. The result seems to be an excess of red light running like I have never seen before that seems to create an incredbily dangerous situation. All these things are the difference between having families feel safe to walk around on summer evenings or not, and directly affect my daughter's future. OUtside of

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

I was raised to do things correctly. If something is not done right the first time, it will have to be done a second time. Having recently become a dad, I am very that I am constantly being tempted to divert from what may right, and what may save time or be a bit easier at that point in time.

Recently I was replacing a cabinet that was dented by leaning something against it. I had repainted the cabinet and sanded it down for paint but realized that I had the wood grain running the wrong way for the middle part of the shaker cabinet door. I was very tempted to try to hide this at the time. It's not a big deal, and it is highly unlikely that it will be an issue. But I found myself conflicted about how that may affect other decisions with the new landscape of excessive fatigue. I wondered how puttting this off for later or covering it up may make it easier next time, I decided that if I were teaching my daughter how to do this job, I would redo the piece without question.

This is a simple concept that most of us learn as a child. However, it becomes easy to adjust ones standards at time when you know you won't be held accountable. With a growing kid in the house, It is increasingly imporant to do what you intend to teach regardless of outcome.

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

I feel civic/community involvement involves doing something that will positively impact your community, with the additional qualifier that you do not receive financial reward or seek recognition because of your actions. The qualifier is important to me, as the motivation for this type of involvement needs a nexus of benevolence for it to be inherently pure. As an employee of a nonprofit organization, that line could be blurred; while it's my job to be involved in Veteran affairs, it is also my passion. For me to personally reconcile my motivations, I spend time supporting other nonprofit organizations from which I receive no "reward" other than feeling I've helped make a difference. I plan to stay very active in civic and community involvement over the next 5 years (and hopefully beyond). I will continue supporting other local nonprofit organizations.

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 grew up in Tyler and graduated from Robert E Lee HS in 1985. Having family in Tyler brought me back regularly over the years, and I moved back permanently 3 years ago. Working for a nonprofit organization for the last 18 months has provided me with numerous opportunities to engage with a significant number of local community leaders. In addition to enjoying interacting with folks, I also enjoy providing input to help shape Tyler's future. I believe I have a natural ability to connect with people in just about any set of circumstances. When I was heavily involved with sales and business development, the most frequent comment I received from clients was that they never felt like I was selling them something (even after selling them something). I attribute this to simply caring about others and not viewing them as a dollar sign. At the end of the day, the relationship is far more important than the transaction. I also believe that being good at something puts a responsibility on one to share their talents and qualities with others. I would hope to both learn from others and help others while enrolled in the class.

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 have 3 daughters. The oldest 2 are out of college and visit but have no desire to live here. My youngest has no desire to stay here beyond HS graduation. All 3 cite similar reasons for not wanting to remain in Tyler - they feel there isn't enough for them to do here. I somewhat agree with them, but that view can be reshaped. In fact, I think it's already starting to happen with younger folks moving to Tyler. As to why, I think it's just been the consensus that Tyler is geared towards a community that caters to adults over 40. 10-15 years ago, I would have agreed, but in my opinion, that is no longer the case. I feel Tyler has plenty to offer all ages and has laid the groundwork to accommodate everyone who wants to live here. Personally, I want to help make Tyler a city where all 3 of my daughters would want to live, and I will do whatever I can to help make that happen.

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

It is easy to identify the scenario I'm about to describe, but difficult to answer due to the loss associated with the experience. In 2013, a friend/business associate asked for my assistance. He wanted to start a company in the medical laboratory testing sector. I had no knowledge of that sector, but he was familiar with my drive and desire to learn. He was the bank but handed me the reins for everything else. I built the business from scratch, hired all the staff, and even expanded into other states. After 18 months, we had over 150 employees and labs in Texas, Colorado and Nevada. I hired CPA's General Counsel, multiple Lab Directors, a sales team, and there was nothing standing in our way to slow us down. One area that had the potential for compromise was billing. I learned a lot of what not to do by studying companies that had run into problems. Almost all those problems stemmed from greed. Well, the owner got greedy. He asked me to institute a change in billing. I showed him the statutes and codes citing the billing changes he proposed were illegal. He went around me and called the billers. The day I found out, I went home and wrote my resignation letter. I resigned the next day and walked away. Within a year he lost everything and faced criminal charges. No regrets.

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

At its core, civic/community involvement is about dedicating oneself to improving the lives of others and enhancing the community and broader society. Civic/Community involvement refers to the participation and engagement of individuals in activities and initiatives aimed at improving, supporting, and developing their local communities and society at large. This involvement can take various forms, including but not limited to volunteering, participating in local government, joining community organizations, engaging in advocacy or activism, and contributing to charitable causes. Regarding my aspirations for civic/community volunteer engagement over the next five years, I am keen on advancing a non-profit initiative I've founded, named the Unstoppable Project. Initially conceived to deliver meals via a food truck, its mission has evolved to also address gun and domestic violence in the community by offering vital resources. This is achieved through organizing food distribution events that feature community leaders and speakers. Furthermore, I aim to play a pivotal role in the volunteer program at Hood, fostering a culture of service and involvement. Additionally, I plan to establish a sports team at Hood Packaging to generate funds for local charitable organizations.

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

Drawing from the Leadership Tyler experience, I anticipate leveraging the insights, skills, and network gained to foster impactful community initiatives, enhance my professional leadership capabilities, and contribute more effectively to my organization and community. Leadership Tyler is designed to cultivate a deeper understanding of the complexities within the local community, enhance leadership skills, and encourage a commitment to civic involvement. Here’s how I plan to utilize this experience:
By understanding the multifaceted challenges and opportunities within Tyler, I aim to apply this knowledge to develop or support projects that address community needs, fostering a more vibrant, inclusive, and resilient community. Secondly, the leadership skills and strategies acquired through the program will be directly applied to my professional role, enhancing my ability to lead teams, manage projects, and contribute to organizational growth and innovation. Thirdly, by utilizing the diverse network of professionals and community leaders met through Leadership Tyler, I plan to foster collaborations and partnerships that leverage collective resources and expertise for community benefit.

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 opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area, particularly concerning homelessness and supporting veterans, is significant. Data indicates a slight increase in first-time homelessness, with a notable portion experiencing chronic homelessness​ (ETHNN)​. Organizations like Victory Through Faith Ministry (VTFM) specifically target veteran homelessness and related issues, offering a range of services including transitional housing, counseling, a combat stress recovery program, and legal assistance for victims of domestic violence​. These situations present a multifaceted challenge that requires community engagement and innovative solutions to provide stable housing, employment opportunities, and mental health support, especially for veterans who are at a higher risk of facing these issues. By dedicating my efforts as a volunteer, I have the influence to inspire those around me to take action against these pressing issues. Additionally, by initiating or collaborating on employment programs specifically tailored for veterans and individuals transitioning from homelessness, I can contribute significantly to their well-being. Partnering with entities like Camp V to help veterans seeking employment within the Tyler Community or the Hood Packaging Family.

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

With my background in the Marine Corps and my dedication to Freemasonry's ethical guidelines, I've always aimed to keep my personal integrity intact across all areas of my life. This commitment influences how I interact with everyone, including family, friends, and colleagues, grounding my actions in solid moral principles. Even when faced with situations that could potentially challenge my ethics, I've been fortunate enough to never feel pressured to compromise my values. This strength largely comes from my core belief in sticking to high ethical standards—a conviction strongly supported by what I've learned in the military and through Freemasonry. These experiences have not only shaped how I deal with life's hurdles but have also highlighted the critical role of integrity as a fundamental value. As I navigate through life's ups and downs, my unwavering dedication to doing the right thing guides me, ensuring that I stay true to my principles and the high expectations I set for myself.

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

Civic and Community Involvement means voting, volunteering and communication as well as engagement within the community. In the next five years, I plan to be involved in a higher level within my career and a place within the community of Tyler overall assisting with volunteering for multiple organizations.

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 experience with Leadership Tyler by helping the community in any way possible for improvements to grow and further its success, The unique qualities I bring to this group are my hard skills such as organization, open mindedness, and willingness to continue learning, Additionally, I plan to assist with the Hispanic community to give them resources and tools to improve and teach others about the resources that are available for them to also be successful. Many times, there are so many unused resources that particular classes do not have, others have to step up to show those available and I would love to advocate for the Hispanic community while being a part of a bigger picture.

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 opportunity for growth and change in the Tyler area would be young professionals within our society. Currently, I am a member of the Tyler Young Professionals Network which I am very proud to be a part of. I always make it a point to be involved with the outings and collaborate with others as much as I can to network. The difficulties young professionals find stem from the unknown resources out there to help you, help others. I would personally be engaged with young professionals in this opportunity. I love meeting new people, and this would grant me the opportunity to do so within my community while also giving back. Its all, a return on your investment.

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

In 2020, I was given the opportunity for a position with a local wealth management firm in Tyler, Texas area. The next two years were the hardest and most stressful years of my life. The pressures within the firm involved sexism, inequality, and non-diversity within it overall. After leaving the firm, with therapy, I gained the confidence and rebuilt what I lost within the time frame I spent with the firm. An ideal workplace should have inclusion, equality and allow leadership and growth for the future personally and professionally. I enjoyed the people I met there and the opportunity that was given but the element lost being integrity, was difficult to face and took time to rebuild. I left the firm with integrity which was something I felt I didn't have for a lot of the time spent there. Moving forward, I am glad I experienced it because it changed me in many ways and altered the chemistry within my logic to persevere through those tough times.

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

I define civic and community involvement as the way you as an individual are having a positive impact on the local community. You are only one person and required to rely on other like-minded individuals with similar levels of passion for their area of involvement to work together to provide the best networks for a community/city to thrive. I definitely see myself as an integral part of Leadership Tyler within the next five years, but other than that, I am the president of TYPN and an ex-officio Chamber board member so I expect to be involved in some way with the Chamber for the foreseeable future. I am also a member of the "Shaping the Future of Tyler" focus group (a Genecov Group-led development board) and plan to be on the American Cancer Society board and a BBB ambassador by the end of the year. I work with several philanthropy groups within TYPN and the chamber and look forward to seeing what the future holds when it comes to additional community involvement!

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 be able to hone my leadership and communication skills to a level I cannot reach on my own. I believe improving these attributes will help increase my level of influence positively throughout the community.

My favorite qualities are the ones others notice in me (it can be hard to notice good things about yourself sometimes). The three that stand out are: my ability to use my own imperfections as a way to connect faster with someone, my ability to be forthcoming (sometimes to a fault), and my ability to be a calming presence in high pressure situations.

Non-cliche qualities include dry and self-deprecating humor, obscure sports' knowledge,

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 future development of Tyler from an architectural standpoint a definite opportunity for change. New development is great as we increase our population and tourism sectors, but there are existing areas long overdue for makeovers. The plans for downtown are a good start, but there are large sections of town that are ugly and/or lacking character. Being in the real estate development sector, I intend on doing my part to renovate and remodel and encourage others to do the same.

I also see a good deal of change coming within the city and chamber leaders themselves. Henry Bell, for instance, will not be around forever. As the TYPN President and Chamber board member, I plan on learning from the current leaders and incorporating that with improved leadership skills to help develop and lead the next wave of community leaders.

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

I recently worked with a town to bring them a Whataburger. The person I worked with from the town to get this done was also a big investor who wanted a hotel brought there as well. We did our due diligence: got a study done, crunched the projected NOI and ROI, got the town EDC's backing for certain incentives to help increase ROI, and it still looked like it wouldn't be very profitable. The investor insisted, and said he could bring others to the table despite the projected poor returns. I don't believe in getting others to fund an investment I wouldn't invest in myself, so I backed out. Even though we could have still made our development fee by simply bringing them the hotel (without any investment contribution ourselves), I deemed it unethical to expect others to do something I wouldn't have done.

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

I feel called to serve my community in whatever way I'm able in order to help others and leave a legacy for my children. As I have learned about fundraising and development, I want to help other nonprofits so that they can effectively fulfill their mission. For me, I would see my involvement in the community being around strengthening mission-driven organizations, helping them to engage people in the community and build legitimate and lasting relationships with people. I currently serve on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and I want to leverage that role in order to bring the biggest benefit to the most nonprofits possible, sharing all that I've learned and encouraging nonprofit leaders to build healthy organizations. Prior to coming to Tyler, my wife and I had moved several times, and when we came to Tyler (right before Covid), we prayed to plant our roots here and to make this community our home. My hope in whatever ways I serve my community is to help this be a better home both for my family and for others.

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 see Leadership Tyler as a way to help me plant my roots more firmly into the community here. I love considering the opportunity to get to know others who are serving in different capacities around the city. As someone who grew up in Texas but not in Tyler, I believe Leadership Tyler would help to accelerate my sense of belonging here. I think I have a lot to offer as well, and I think that it would also give others in the community a chance to know me and ways that I might be able to support what they are doing or be a blessing to them in some way. I am big on relationships and collaboration, and seeing as our cohort only has one year to get to know each other, I think I would be helpful in encouraging meaningful conversation from others in the group.

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?

In my 4 years here in Tyler, I have come to love the combination of big city amenities and small town feel that make this such a special community. As someone who moved here right before everything shut down at the beginning of Covid, I have seen how necessary the idea of physical place really is, because we all discovered during that time some of the inadequacies of the virtual world. Yes, there are general solutions out there for some of the issues our city faces, but I think the truth of the matter is that what we need most is to have local organizations that are offering local solutions to these issues. That requires us to continue pressing in on that relational piece that makes East Texas so special. As our nonprofit sector grows with the community, it's critical that we apply that same mentality and continue focusing on local relationships and local solutions. This kind of relationship building is a big part of what I love to do, and I love to do it whether it benefits the organization I work for or if it helps someone else's organization. I'm a big believer in the adage that a rising tide raises all ships, and that's the mindset I have in trying to increase connections and collaboration with others.

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 situation where a donor to my organization had given me a check, but I put it in my bag before leaving on a trip and couldn't find it for several weeks. The pressure to compromise came when I was faced with the decision on how to inform this donor on what had happened with the check and to see if a new one needed to be issued. I ended up deciding to be completely honest, I admitted my mistake of misplacing the check and how I had only just recently found it. I braced for impact, anticipating frustration or anger, but instead she was very gracious and forgiving. In fact, the only reason she had not noticed was that without her knowledge, her husband had written a check for an identical amount but given it to someone else in our organization, which meant that their bank balance matched what she expected. After speaking with her husband, she decided to let us use the second check as well, meaning her gift was doubled. It was such a tremendous reminder for me that in the moment when I was tempted to protect my image, it was being honest and forthright that led to the higher engagement with the donor.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

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

Civic/Community involvement understands that collaboration is the new inclusion. When people within the community are able to come together it helps to improve the overall quality of life for everyone who lives and works there. My five year goal is to be on the Tyler Independent School District school board to be a positive voice of change within the school system and to increase parent participation within the African-American 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?

With the Leadership Tyler experience, I expect to build relationships within the community to help bring an awareness and end the negative stigma of mental health. I will bring a wealth of knowledge from the mental health field.

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?

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 12-18 (middle and high school ages) in Texas. I believe that our youth and education system could benefit from more affordable mental health services in the community. I would personally engage in this opportunity by providing some pro-bono and cost efficient mental health services for school aged adolescents/teens.

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

I contract with a state agency for counseling services. I had a prominent client in the community who attempted to pay me a large sum of money in order to falsify documentation. I would not agree and reported it to the agency. I worked too hard for my degrees and licensure to be tempted by any amount of money. My integrity as a business owner and a mental health professional matters more to me than a monetary gain.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

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

While I was in college back in Chile, I volunteered for "Un Techo Para Chile," an organization building homes for low-income population. Witnessing their holistic approach, which included financial, health, and educational support, ignited my passion for community involvement. Tutoring children in English brought me joy and revealed the transformative power of language and education. This experience inspired me to pursue a career in teaching, driven by the belief in creating resilient communities where mutual learning and improvement can benefit everyone.
In Tyler, I see echoes of my own immigrant experience—individuals in need of support and connection in their new home. My purpose is clear: to serve as an agent of change and transformation, helping newcomers transition from simply fitting in to feeling a sense of belonging. I am eager to explore and contribute to the collective fabric of our region that being as a volunteer or as a board member for local organizations.

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

Most of my life I have been an educator, teaching English as a Second Language and Spanish in Chile, Australia, Costa Rica, China, and the United States. Before I became a Special Events Coordinator at UT Tyler last year, I spent four years as an ESL teacher and an Instructional Coach at the Literacy Council of Tyler. The turning point in my career occurred in 2023 after two years of organizing Andina Fest, which I co-founded with my girlfriends from Argentina, Venezuela and Peru. This initiative stemmed from our desire to create a platform for a more diverse representation of Latin culture, challenging the common misconception that all Latinos are exclusively from Mexico. Planning this event has open a new world of opportunities that I do not want to miss.
My areas of expertise lie in effective communication and cultivating strong relationships. Known for my creativity, tolerance, empathy, and commitment, I strive to be a community leader who champions diversity, inclusion, and meaningful connections within East Texas' flourishing Latin population and the rest of the Piney Woods. . I am passionate about languages. I am indeed multilingual, and I can say thank you in 21 languages. Some may say I am full of gratitude. (It’s absolutely true!)

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?

Although I hail from Chile, it wasn't until I moved to Sydney that I was first labeled as "Latina." Upon relocating to America, I encountered the "Hispanic" category. Throughout my four years in Tyler, I've been on a journey of self-discovery, realizing that while labels hold significance, they don't wholly define us, especially within the ETX expanding Latin community. While I embrace and enjoy the prevalent Mexican culture in Texas, I advocate for acknowledging and celebrating our uniqueness.
One of my most significant projects is Andina Fest, a family-friendly event showcasing the multicultural essence of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean through music, dance, and food. For example, Houston Batucada's presence at last year's event symbolized ETX notable Brazilian community. Additionally, the festival drew interest from new Tylerites coming from bigger cities wanting to dance salsa, bachata, and other Latin rhythms,
In navigating the complexities of Latino identity, my aspiration is to foster connections and collaboration within the community, such as the the Rose Festival with the Hispanic Float, Storytelling events in Spanish that serve as a catalyst for our community's exploration of understanding, personal growth, and resilience.

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

Some years ago, I developed an ESL curriculum tailored for internationally trained professionals, aiming to facilitate their integration into their respective fields in America. Rather than settling for jobs unrelated to their expertise, such as at fast-food chains, individuals like an attorney from Ecuador, for example, could gradually transition into roles like a paralegal assistant before working at the courthouse. To design this curriculum successfully, I anticipated receiving data on various career sectors, such as engineering, healthcare, and education based on a survey from prospect students. However, upon reviewing participant information, discrepancies emerged. Despite pressure to launch the program quickly I alerted my supervisor to the issue. Later, it was revealed that the survey had not been distributed, making the data invalid. While acknowledging the challenges of busy schedules and heavy workloads, I remained steadfast in upholding honesty and accuracy, especially when providing essential community services. I committed to redoing the survey to ensure correct information, despite the additional time, effort, and courage required to rectify the situation and uphold standards of integrity.

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