Essays Group 3

Displaying 1 - 15 of 15

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

60

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 the willingness and obligation to address community concerns and issues and to foster and establish a positive reputation within the community. It involves building a sense of community and togetherness by bridging gaps and promoting healing among all community members. In the next five years, I aim to transfer the skills I acquire from this mentorship program into my day-to-day activities and leverage my abilities to identify and address community needs and causes.

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'm excited to explore the various community involvement opportunities in Tyler and to connect with like-minded individuals who share my passion for building strong relationships. As a mother, I take great pleasure in making people feel welcome, and as a training manager, I am excited for a chance to share my expertise and help others reach their full potential. As a free spirit, I believe in embracing every opportunity to connect with others and build meaningful relationships - all with a smile and positive energy that comes with it.

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?

Having moved to Tyler in 2015, I have had the privilege of meeting and connecting with several individuals in the community, primarily due to our youngest child's active lifestyle. However, during my interactions, I have discovered that many people are unaware of the various areas within the community or opportunities to participate in community driven events. We can utilize this opportunity to create an inclusive platform that can bring together diverse groups with common goals for the betterment of the community. By fostering a greater awareness and collaboration, we can create a more connected and thriving community for everyone.

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

I was hired to take over a team that I had never met and was warned about the staff and the attitude of the office. From the time I was hired I was immediately trained off site in another area and I didn’t have any contact with the new staff reporting to me. I hadn’t been formally introduced since the interview. The training manager, as well as many others in the organization, wanted me to know ahead of time that I was most likely going to come up against resistance and they would be open to me making any necessary changes (including termination). In their words “This office had a history of smiling and then doing what they want to do” largely based on prior management comments.
The comment had me feeling uneasy because it is my belief to always reserve judgement until after I have met someone. You never know the background of that situation or context this is coming from. It is my job as the new manager to allow them time to acclimate into the new normal. From the moment that I stepped in the office they were welcoming, and I made it my mission to understand and listen to their needs. This ultimately helped me to build an impact in that office and in that organization. The staff didn’t feel heard or supported previously and by coming in with no judgment I built a strong connect

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

61

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?

Bloom where you’re planted. After recently retiring from a 20-year active duty career as a Naval Officer and Aviator, my family and I chose to plant our roots in Tyler. I’m not from here. I don’t have family members here, yet here we are. And we love it. Plugging into the community is the best way to create a stable, connected, life-giving experience for you and those around you. It gets you connected, gives you purpose, and sets the example that I want my kids to have modeled to them. This has been a proven approach for me, even during my military career when I had to move approximately every three years. Being a volunteer isn’t easy, and it isn’t about you. Truly volunteering means you show up and ask, “What needs to be done, and how can I help?” I’ve seen this play out already in the less than 2 years since we moved here. I’m on the Veterans Committee with the Tyler Chamber of Commerce. I’m the volunteer youth pastor at my church. I’m on the church safety team. I’ve helped coach Tyler Heat baseball for two seasons. My wife and I volunteer at our children’s school. And, the job I was led to as a Leadership Consultant, although for profit, helps provide sustainable health, purpose, and results to local businesses. Bloom where you’re planted, and it just might produce fruit.

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 utilize this experience by learning what the heart of the local leadership is, and then applying it. Specifically, from all those who pour into this program. I have a lot of life experiences, but I have zero experience being you – and this means I have a lot to learn. I don’t have a personal agenda for my Leadership Tyler experience. But what I do have is an open mind and attitude to learn from those who have made this city what it is today. What I bring to a Leadership Tyler class is a diverse leadership background. It’s only my experience, however I offer a perspective that isn’t local. It is familiar but it isn’t from Tyler. My positions in the Navy covered everything from leading small teams of only 4 people in a helicopter to overseeing the Navy’s largest training squadron of 1,200 people and over $1.1B in assets. My experience covers leading multi-cultural, worldwide diverse teams to the necessary face-to-face leadership of passing a peer, subordinate, or senior in the hallway of a workspace. I’ve had several failures along the way. Sharing those failures is certainly a good way to offer my experiences. I’ve learned that your role in the workplace doesn’t determine your value as a person, it determines your assignment and responsibility to the company.

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?

There are so many things that make Tyler unique. Every city has a feel, a purpose, and personality. The intangibles. Hard work, community, honesty, local pride. Tyler expertly encompasses every aspect of those. I could go on and on. This comes from a perspective of someone who has lived all over the world and could have chosen any place on earth to live after retirement. I chose Tyler. Before I highlight a growth area without offering a solution, I’m fully aware that I don’t have the entire picture. I don’t know the procedures or regulations of city planning. But, you asked. We don’t need another (insert any chain restaurant here) in town, we need local, unique restaurants. Uniqueness is what makes a city stand out. One way to do that is with local restaurants. Breaking bread brings people together. Experiencing and remembering where you broke bread keeps people around. There are a lot of great local food options in Tyler, but every new building seems to be another chain restaurant. Think of any place across America. Pick a restaurant. It’s here and that’s not unique. An idea is to host an annual restaurant week. Only local restaurants qualify. Registered patrons get a discounted meal and get to vote on the best restaurant categories. Bragging rights. Local buzz. How can I help?

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

So, there I was, on a dark and stormy night, as every good Naval Aviation story starts. Except it was daytime, and it wasn’t stormy. I was on a training flight with a new student. This student was having a very hard time hovering the helicopter. One of our enlisted crewman was giving the student a very hard time about it. This crewman was known for his bad attitude. It took everything in me to not to correct the crewman on the spot. Instead, I wanted to take a different approach. Except, it was against the rules, and I wrestled with my personal integrity before I made the decision. “Alright hot shot,” I said to the crewman, “you want to try it?” I decided to let the enlisted crewman fly. Yes, in the front seat at the controls. Without being properly vetted, this is major violation of procedure. We landed and he swapped seats with the student. The look on his face went from anger and frustration to the biggest smile you’ve ever seen. He obviously struggled to fly but learned a valuable lesson that day. Sometimes a relationship is more valuable than a policy. Even if it means violating that policy. Ten years later that same crewman gave me a call. “Hey Sir, that day you let me fly, changed my life, and I’m applying to be an officer. I want to be a pilot.” He was accepted.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

63

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/community involvement as actively participating in activities and initiatives that contribute overall to the betterment and growth of the community. Engaging, volunteering, Within the next 5 years, if speaking from my passion, I would like to establish a platform in Tyler dedicated to providing etiquette lessons and social skill-building activities for our youth. I believe that empowering our younger generation with the tools necessary to navigate social situations confidently and respectfully especially during a time where face to face interactions are becoming increasingly rare, to be part of my holy work.

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 to dive deep into Tyler to learn all that there is to know. I expect to learn all that I can through the process so that I am also able to connect with others in the community and promote the various initiatives and activities that set Tyler apart. I am eager to volunteer, serve on boards and committees, meet new friends and grow personally and professionally through the process. I am fun, positive, solution driven, determined, organized, manage my time wisely, believe in others until they have the confidence to believe in themselves, and celebrate them along the way.

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 believe that there is a need to revitalize social etiquette and manners among our youth. There is a noticeable decline in interpersonal skills and courteous behavior in our school aged children. I have launched Polished Protocol, an Etiquette and Personal Growth Consulting Agency. Volunteering my time and resources to empower our youth would be a dream come true!

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

During my direct sales day, the in-home parties were for women only. I arrived at a hostesses home and it was filled with couples. I pulled the host aside and explained that the company guidelines state 'women only' parties and that I would not be comfortable presenting with the men present. She was not happy, and fueled the fire by stating out loud and everyone began to banter back and forth about me, the huge opportunity for sales that I would be missing out on, the women stated that 'if he leaves I leave" I was very uncomfortable and I almost caved. Instead, I shared with the hostess that I would not be able to unload my car with the men present, and that I did not wish to ruin their evening so that I would go so that they could enjoy the rest of their night. A single woman followed me out with her purse. She thanked me and told me that she too was very uncomfortable and told me I handled the banter professionally. That night taught me a lot, not only did I stand up for myself, I stood my ground for her. I left with the same amount of money I had when I arrived, however it didn't cost me my integrity.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

64

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 actively engaging with and contributing to the growth and well-being of the community. For me, it's not just about making a difference; it's about collaborating with fellow citizens to create something truly special together, serving, empowering, and connecting with others in the process.

As someone new to Tyler, my goal is to foster the growth of Tyler's creative community by serving as both a community builder and curator for those who share a passion for artistic expression, innovation, and cultural enrichment. I've been exploring how to contribute my unique talents in meaningful ways to further develop the community, and have taken the first steps by reaching out to representatives from the Heart of Tyler downtown revitalization organization and Habitat for Humanity of Smith County. I'd welcome the opportunity to establish a creative community center or organize and spearhead community events that foster connection and celebrate the diverse talents present within Tyler.

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 to learn and meet the community, so I may help nurture the next generation of creatives and event professionals, creating opportunities for growth and collaboration.

I am a mindful leader who believes that teamwork and collaboration are the keys to success. There is no failure, only lessons to learn and an opportunity to pivot. I believe that community makes you unbreakable, and building an inclusive community, both professionally and personally, is what drives me.

With over two decades of experience supporting creatives and managing teams, my expertise spans across large-scale event and festival production, sales enablement, and revenue operations. However, beyond professional achievements, my true passion lies in nurturing the next generation of creatives and event industry professionals. Through a commitment to mentor and adopt a servant-leadership approach, I'm dedicated to creating a safe environment where young talents can thrive early in their careers. I believe personal success is only achieved by investing in the future and fostering a culture of growth and support.

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?

Tyler boasts a vibrant and proud creative community eager to showcase their projects and talents to a wider audience. It is my intention to honor these individuals by providing opportunities that contribute to the enrichment of Tyler as a dynamic and vibrant city.

I believe Tyler can continue to foster current and the next generation of creatives through strategic partnerships with organizations such as the Texas Film Commission and the Texas Music Office. I am confident that we can engage both local creatives and their supporters, while also enticing creatives from beyond our immediate vicinity. By building opportunities such as festivals, events, and filming locations, we can drive revenue associated with hotel occupancy and event space rentals to support the revitalization of downtown. Initiatives such as these will also cultivate an environment conducive to the sustainable growth of small businesses in Smith County .I intend to use my existing relationships and knowledge of the industry to help build these connections on behalf of Tyler and our small business community.

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

Working at SXSW can be a grueling experience. We’re taught to put on our thickest armor and do whatever is needed to survive the sixteen long, demanding days. Traditionally, showing weakness or vulnerability was not an option, especially as a leader in the organization. It was an expectation that I struggled with as a leader of several SXSW teams.

Just days before SXSW 2023, my life partner tragically passed away, and I was thrust into a profound state of shock and grief. This was compounded by the fact that he was also a vital member of the team that I oversee at SXSW, which left a void for our team.

Recognizing the importance of transparency and vulnerability in times of crisis, I made a conscious decision to open up to my team about the immense personal loss we were all grappling with. Together, we found ways to honor him and each other throughout the event.

Despite the weight of grief and the pressure of SXSW, our team of 15 came together in solidarity and resilience. Witnessing the support we offered each other, reaffirmed my belief in the importance of team and community. Through this shared journey of healing and resilience, we not only met the demands of the event, but emerged stronger and more tightly knit as a team.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

66

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?

Community involvement can include any number of initiatives aimed at promoting social cohesion and fostering positive change. As a family physician with a background in public health, my definition would also necessarily include an assessment of what a community truly wants and needs. Needs assessments are essential for informing the development, implementation, and evaluation of both civic and health programs. By making these a priority, anyone interested in community service is empowered to design targeted interventions that effectively address the challenges faced by our community.

Over the next five years, I expect to be involved in volunteer experiences that align with my interests and expertise, specifically initiatives to reduce healthcare disparities among our underserved neighbors. These will include participating in community workshops, support groups, and educational campaigns focused on topics such as nutrition, physical activity, and stress reduction.

Overall, my community volunteer experience over the next five years will be driven by a commitment to service, a passion for promoting health and well-being, and a desire to make a positive impact on the lives of those in my community who are most in need.

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 anticipate my Leadership Tyler experience will help deepen my understanding of community dynamics, enhance my leadership skills, and leverage the program’s resources to advance initiatives that directly benefit the underserved members of our community. I plan to grow in relationship with fellow community leaders to pool resources, hone my advocacy efforts, and learn more about programs in the community that I can bring my unique perspective to. My expertise in behavioral change and public health will contribute valuable perspectives to discussions on community health and well-being.

As a community physician I look forward to sharing my experiences as a leader in healthcare. My passion for serving marginalized groups aligns with the program's focus on community trusteeship. I strive to maintain a high level of critical thinking, integrity, humility, and adaptability. I am committed to keeping an open mind, always ready to learn and expand my knowledge and skills to meet the needs of my patients.

As an active participant in Leadership Tyler, leveraging my unique blend of skills, knowledge, and values I hope to inspire and motivate others, foster meaningful connections with community leaders, and drive positive change in Tyler's diverse communities.

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, like many communities, faces challenges such as limited access to mental and healthcare services, socioeconomic barriers to care, and disparities in health outcomes. By focusing on initiatives to improve healthcare access, promote preventive care, and address social determinants of health, we can work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive healthcare system that meets the needs of all residents.

On the ground, I see much more work to be done to support individuals in our community struggling with mental illness and suicide, particularly in school age children and the elderly, who both seem to be increasingly socially isolated.. In addition to my clinical work, I am looking to become more involved in clarifying the needs of our community around this issue. I plan to participate in projects that raise awareness about mental health, reduce stigma, and provide support and resources for individuals struggling.

Overall, by leveraging my skills, knowledge, and passion for service, I can play a role in driving positive change and improving health outcomes for all residents of the Tyler/Smith County area.

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

While in training we were faced with many unknowns concerning COVID. At the time we were tasked with the care of COVID patients with breathing issues. More experienced providers refused to help with intubating sick patients (placing a tube down their throats to assist with breathing). Less experienced residents were being tasked with this procedure to the detriment of patient care.. I expressed my concerns about this safety issue and was called to a meeting where I felt unfairly criticized for my concern.. Despite feeling deeply disappointed by the adversarial tone and lack of opportunity for meaningful dialogue, I remained composed and respectful.

Unfortunately hospital politics were given priority over the safety of medical trainees and patients. I apologized for any unintended offense and sought to clarify misunderstandings. However, I also recognized the importance of standing firm in my convictions and advocating for the patients’ care and the well-being of residents.

I felt I had remained professional while advocating for safety and transparency. While the experience was challenging, it strengthened my resolve to lead with integrity and compassion in all aspects of my professional life.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

68

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 or community involvement can be described as actively participating in activities and initiatives that contribute to the betterment of the community and can include volunteering or participating in community events. Within the next five years I plan to become more involved with volunteering at schools and food banks, community development, and hopefully elderly assistance and volunteering.

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 anticipate leveraging my Leadership Tyler experience as a catalyst for personal and professional growth, as well as a platform to make a meaningful impact within the community. Through this program, I aim to hone my leadership skills, expand my network, and gain valuable insights into local issues and opportunities for positive change.

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 opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area could be improving educational engagement in underserved communities. This is important because education is often a key determinant of individual and community success, and involvement plays a huge portion. Personally, I could be engaged in this opportunity by volunteering or collaborating with local organizations that focus on education and community development. This could involve tutoring, mentoring students, or participating in after-school programs.

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

Being in HR a situation occurred where management wanted me to provide them with confidential information. This request would directly challenge my integrity. I would first calmly communicate and explain that compromising this information could have long-term consequences for the both of us and decline to complete the request for information. Handling such pressure requires confidence in one's principles and the willingness to stand firm in upholding them, even in challenging situations. It's essential to communicate effectively, remain steadfast in one's values, and seek constructive resolutions that uphold integrity.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

69

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, means actively participating in initiatives and activities that contribute positively to the welfare and betterment of the community. It encompasses volunteering time, skills, and resources to address local needs, support causes, and build a stronger, more cohesive society.

In the next five years, I aim to deepen my involvement in civic and community volunteerism by focusing on initiatives that align with my passion for education and youth development. Specifically, I plan to engage in mentoring programs for at-risk youth, volunteer at local schools to support educational initiatives, and participate in community-based projects aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and financial literacy among young adults.

Additionally, I intend to collaborate with organizations that focus on environmental sustainability and conservation efforts, participating in clean-up drives, tree planting events, and advocating for eco-friendly practices within the community.

Overall, I aspire to leverage my skills and knowledge to make meaningful contributions to the community, foster positive change, and inspire others to join in creating a brighter future for all.

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 anticipate utilizing my Leadership Tyler experience to enhance my leadership skills, broaden my network, and deepen my understanding of community dynamics. As a Latin female graduate with a background in business marketing, I bring a unique perspective to the Leadership Tyler class.

My cultural background has instilled in me values of resilience, adaptability, and a strong sense of community. I aim to contribute these qualities to the class discussions and projects, fostering diversity and inclusivity within the group. Additionally, my education in business marketing equips me with strategic thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills that are essential for effective leadership. I intend to leverage my marketing expertise to collaborate on community projects, promote initiatives, and engage with stakeholders to address local challenges. Furthermore, my passion for community development, particularly in underserved areas, drives my commitment to making a positive impact through leadership initiatives.

Overall, I aspire to be an active participant in Leadership Tyler, leveraging my unique background and skills to contribute meaningfully to the class and the broader community. I aim to grow personally and professionally while making a difference in Tyler's 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?

One significant opportunity for change in the Tyler Texas/Smith County area is improving access to educational resources and opportunities, particularly for underserved communities. As a recent graduate, I've witnessed firsthand the transformative power of education in unlocking doors to success. However, disparities in access to quality education persist, disproportionately affecting marginalized communities.

I believe that addressing this issue is not only a moral imperative but also crucial for the long-term prosperity and well-being of the community. By investing in education, we can empower individuals to reach their full potential, drive economic growth, and foster a more equitable society.

Personally, I could be engaged in this opportunity by volunteering with local organizations focused on educational outreach, mentoring students, and advocating for policies that promote equal access to education. Additionally, I could use my marketing skills to raise awareness, mobilize support, and secure resources for initiatives aimed at improving educational outcomes in the Tyler Texas/Smith County area.

Through collaborative efforts and community partnerships, I am committed to being a catalyst for positive change and creating a brighter future for all residents.

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

During my previous sales career, I encountered a situation where top sales representatives were resorting to unethical practices to boost their numbers, creating pressure from management to follow suit. Despite the temptation to compromise my personal integrity, I chose to uphold ethical standards and maintain my honesty and integrity.

In response to the pressure, I proactively sought out alternative strategies to achieve success within ethical boundaries. I focused on building genuine relationships with clients, understanding their needs, and providing them with valuable solutions. While this approach may have initially yielded slower results compared to cutting corners, it ultimately earned me the trust and respect of both clients and colleagues.

To navigate the challenging environment, I also sought support from mentors and peers who shared my commitment to ethical conduct. I engaged in open discussions with management about the importance of integrity in sales practices, advocating for a culture of transparency and ethical behavior. By staying true to my values and refusing to compromise my integrity, I not only preserved my reputation but also contributed to a culture of honesty and integrity within the organization.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

70

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?

Community involvement is offering my abilities and time to help those around me. I could be part of a large program or simply be helping one person in need. I believe everything that we offer and give to others will keep giving through them and encourages them to do the same in some way.
Over the next five years, I would like to become involved in school events, Chamber of Commerce and programs that help mental illness. I have observed over the past couple of years through the Emergency Department, that mental illness is an area that continues to grow involving early ages to elderly.

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 a desire to grow the younger generation and those around me. I have been in leadership positions most of my adult life. There is so much opportunity to encourage and lead others by example, experience and knowledge. I have experienced different settings and challenges being in Healthcare almost 20 years and people tell me my greatest strengths are listening, building teams and teaching. I hope to meet others with the same passion in Leadership Tyler and expand my network in helping the community with others who share the same desire to make Tyler and our community an excellent place to live and work.

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 opportunity for mentally ill programs or outreach programs. These programs have such a negative connotation to them but from what I have experienced in Healthcare, there are so many people who are lonely, find themselves in difficult situations whether it be from consequences of a poor decision or indirectly from the environment around them or a family situation they grew up in. I would like to see the programs viewed from the community as a "game changer"! I have watched those in despair from depression come time after time to the Emergency Department with no support. I have also seen those who are hungry who are reluctant to reach out. What a difference we make to others to feel love and support.
I would also like to expand on what Tyler is bringing to the Community. The new medical school with so many opportunities to lead young people to career paths right here! Opportunities within the community from UT Tyler; making sure our younger generation knows what is offered and how to get there.
I believe through my experience and passion for helping and leading others, I find it internally motivating and rewarding to be a part of any opportunity to grow people and culture.

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

What has been instilled in me from my parents, is to never compromise my integrity. I stay true to my beliefs and it is easy to offer a different opinion on a situation or walk away from it if it doesn't feel right. Over the years, there have been those situations that I didn't agree with morally or ethically and when I knew it would continue to progress down that path, I no longer took part of it. Easy everyday examples are decisions I make on where to shop based on a corporate decision model of what that business chooses to support and if my values align with it.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

71

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/community involvement as investing your time and talents for the betterment of the community in which you live. When I first moved to Tyler with a new baby, I didn't get as involved as I wanted with the community. A few months ago, I took a leadership role with United Way, and I'm grateful to be finding more opportunities to get involved in the burgeoning nonprofit sector of East Texas. I've made it a goal in this job to make site visits to each of the 27 nonprofits that receive financial support from United Way. I hope this will help me find meaningful involvement opportunities for my family and myself to start volunteering.

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 believe that I could bring a unique perspective to this Leadership Tyler class because of my work, as well as life experiences that have brought me here.
My 10-year career has been dedicated to nonprofit fundraising. I’ve worked with organizations of all sizes and industries, from the arts and healthcare to education and human services. In my current role, I see the intersection of business and social services. I constantly look at ways the nonprofit sector can be impacted by the corporate landscape of Tyler, as well as the ways businesses can benefit from the presence of nonprofits. If given the opportunity to participate in Leadership Tyler, my goal will be to make important connections within the community that can help the work of nonprofit organizations.
Additionally, I could bring an outside perspective to this group. I grew up in Chicago, which is known mostly for its pizza and corrupt political landscape. I’ve seen issues of governmental distrust that have impacted a city for generations. I understand that trust in civic leadership is not assumed; it is earned, and it can be lost. The same goes for trust in the leadership of any industry. In both my work and personal life, I strive to be someone that people trust.

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?

My family and I moved to Tyler three years ago, at a time when we desperately needed a change of life. There are so many people like us choosing to move here from larger metropolitan areas. One of the things we lacked when we lived in Dallas was a sense of community; we didn’t know a single neighbor after living in the same house for three years. We were welcomed into this community in such a touching way – through our church, through our neighborhood, and through the friendships we’ve established since we made Tyler our home.
However, there are certain aspects of living in a larger city that new people are missing when they move to Tyler. We have a unique opportunity to infuse our community with more of the cultural aspects of larger cities, while maintaining a small-town identity. As Tyler grows, we can also help ensure they understand the needs of the surrounding community. Civic leaders hold an important role in communicating those needs and ensuring a response to them.
I didn’t have the pleasure of growing up in Tyler, but my daughter will. She gives me a vested interest in giving back to Tyler in any way I can. With experience working in several social benefit causes, I believe I can serve a role in the growth of this community.

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

Many times in my career I have been the only woman or the youngest person in a room full of established professionals. It has taken a little while to train myself to speak up. Recently, I found myself in a situation where a direct report of mine (who was male and many years my senior) made a habit of using sexist and ageist language in the workplace. I needed to establish a boundary with this employee to let him know that that type of rhetoric wouldn’t be acceptable with me in this role.
It was extremely difficult for me to muster the courage to confront this individual, but it was necessary to make sure sexism wouldn’t continue to permeate the organization I worked for. I talked with the employee in a one-on-one meeting, using direct and firm language. I gave him time to reflect, and it has created a much better work environment since that conversation.
I’ve learned that, when we sit idly and listen to the people around us diminish our worth, we compromise our personal codes of ethics. By confronting my employee that day and talking about it with other professional women, I felt that I was part of the solution and not the problem.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

76

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 means having an active role in improving your community. In my role with the City of Tyler’s Communications Department, and as the only Hispanic in the team, I help bridge the gap between our local government and our Spanish-speaking community. Ensuring clear communication between the government and all residents is crucial for a thriving community. Since joining the team, I've spearheaded initiatives to translate critical documents, like the City's Annual Report and emergency communications.

In the next five years, I aim to expand our Spanish-language communication strategy to one that communicates with our Hispanic community often and not only during times of crisis to ensure all Tyler residents feel informed and engaged.

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

Being born and raised in Puerto Rico and only moving to Tyler at 18 gives me a unique bilingual and bicultural perspective that's valuable in our diverse community. Additionally, my 6 years working for the City of Tyler have given me valuable insights into how the City functions. I understand the challenges we face, the importance of collaboration to find solutions and a passion for bettering our community through local government. Through Leadership Tyler, I'm excited to learn from leaders in many industries and from many backgrounds and contribute my knowledge to develop a vision for our 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?

Tyler's demographics present a unique opportunity for change. We are a majority-minority city with a growing young population, but current engagement efforts fall short of reaching these communities.

I believe we can focus on culturally relevant outreach programs. Recently, I attended the Tyler Police outreach program “Comunidad,” created by Officer Bianca Smedley, and I saw the need to educate our Hispanic residents on what the City can do for them and what we can offer. The City also hosts many student groups throughout the year to teach them about the many opportunities you can have working for the City. I have led a couple of tours for different classes and see they are excited to participate. We just have to reach out to them and engage them.

These examples highlight the power of culturally relevant outreach. By focusing on more outreach opportunities like these and programs with measurable impact, we can create a more inclusive and representative Tyler for all.

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

My first job was for a national retail chain known for its altruism and mission of building schools in Latin America. After a year of working for them, I discovered a significant ethical discrepancy that did not sit well with me. I learned they marked up their products by almost 800% and only donated 10% of their revenues to charity. The quality of the items was less than subpar, which felt like we were not only lying to our employees and customers about our mission but also stealing from them by charging such exorbitant prices for cheaply made clothes. When I learned this, I lost trust in the company and pride in my job. This created a moral dilemma for me as a college student who valued my job security, especially after two promotions. However, compromising my integrity felt wrong. I spoke with our managers and researched reporting methods within the company to voice my concerns but found limited avenues. Ultimately, I decided to resign. Now, if faced with a similar situation at a smaller or local company, I be much more likely to voice my concern directly to the owner. In a smaller setting, my voice could have a greater impact, potentially prompting changes towards more ethical and transparent business practices.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

78

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 and community involvement as participation in projects or organizations whose mission is to contribute to the betterment of our community. It involves giving your time, talents and abilities to improve where we live, work and play. Volunteering in my community is not something that I have to do out of obligation, it is truly something that I love to do.

I anticipate the next 5 years bringing opportunities to continue to serve the current organizations I am involved with along with seeking out other new opportunities to serve our community. More specifically, I am a current board member of the Junior League of Tyler and I plan to continue to serve in leadership roles and currently serving as the Coronation Co-Chair for the 2024 Texas Rose Festival and plan to continue to serve in key volunteer roles over the next 5 years and beyond.

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 learned that growing up in Tyler can give you a false sense of community awareness. Since serving in our community over the past 10 years, I have realized that there are so many things to learn about our unique city along with many people that can be better served. I expect to utilize what I learn from Leadership Tyler as a way to expose and immerse myself in better understanding the needs of our community and more importantly, finding opportunities to serve and address these needs. I am also thrilled at the prospect of developing my leadership skills and being better equipped to serve my clients, my team at work, and the organizations I serve.

Some unique qualities that I would bring to my Leadership Tyler class is my true love and passion for our city and community and my experience in leadership from past and current volunteer positions. I have a passion for philanthropy and spreading awareness of how people can help physically and financially in our community. I have been told that I go above and beyond the duties that are asked of me and I anticipate bringing that same level of commitment to my Leadership Tyler 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?

As a financial advisor, I often find myself educating people on basic financial literacy. Over the years, I have realized that young people are not getting a proper education and/or exposure to understanding and managing their personal finances. With credit card debt at an all-time high, I see a huge opportunity to engage with members of our community, specifically those in their late teenage years and early 20s, looking to learn more about managing their finances and setting themselves up for success in the future. I personally see myself as someone that could go out and engage with people to discuss their current situation, goals and plan for the future. If we can help these members of our community better understand how to take care of themselves financially, the future of Tyler will be bright.

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

I work in a cut throat environment, where everyone you work with is chasing after the same clients. It is easy to find yourself in situations where you feel pressured to compromise your personal integrity for financial gain. I made a commitment 10 years ago when I started in this role that I would not compromise my morals or integrity, no matter the circumstances.

A more specific example actually happened here recently. After reviewing a prospective client’s assets from another firm, I came to the conclusion that the funds were being properly managed based on the client’s goals and needs. Many people in my industry would have found a way to pick apart the client’s current assets in order to convince them to move their accounts, however, when I met with the client I let them know that there was nothing wrong with the way their assets were being managed and he should continue on this path in order to reach his goals. The client later decided to move his accounts over to me because of my honesty and not trying to manipulate him into moving. Having integrity and character in this situation paid off in an unexpected way.

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Entry ID

80

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 most important attributes of civic and community involvement are the combination of vision, leadership, and engagement with a focus on select community initiatives. Simply stated, this means investing time, energy and resources into a very few targeted nonprofit organizations and personal initiatives. The major theme of this idea is to strategically meet identified and specific needs of a targeted local community. My personal initiatives focus on developing our youth of East TX.

My planned areas of focus for the next 5 years are as follows:
YOUNG LIFE– Young Life is a Christ-centered organization focused on introducing high-risk and un-churched youth to the gospel of Jesus Christ. My plan is to join the Young Life Committee, which provides leadership, oversight, and administration of the local mission.
THE MENTORING ALLIANCE- Similar to Young Life, this organization focuses on developing relationships and mentoring at-risk youth. My plan is to begin a ‘big brother’ relationship and expand into other leadership roles in this organization.
THE FOSTERING COLLECTIVE– In East Texas alone there are over 1,200 children in the foster care system. My family is planning for and hoping to foster (and possibly adopt) one to two children through The Fostering Collective organization.

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 hope is that the Leadership Tyler program will allow me to broaden my knowledge of and understanding of the specific needs of our community, broaden my personal network, and provide the ability to target specific community needs. I also believe that Leadership Tyler will introduce new skill sets, new tools and new relationships to effectively serve the East Texas community.

Several unique qualities that I will personally bring to Class 38 of Leadership Tyler are as follows:
HEALTH CARE BACKGROUND- I graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and am a Registered Nurse in the State of Texas. 
NURSING LEADERSHIP- Currently I am an East Texas Regional Director of Marketing and Business Development at Enhabit Home Health and Hospice. My role is to identify and provide medical resources to the senior population. 
CHURCH YOUTH LEADERSHIP– I currently serve as a Sunday school teacher for elementary aged children at Grace Community Church. I am also involved with the college ministry at our church.

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 largest opportunity for positive change in the East Texas community is to consolidate and centralize the various youth and child non-profit programs into larger operating units. The strategic merger of a number of youth-focused non-profit organizations in Smith county. Needed consolidations would provide a smaller number, but larger and more effective lineup of mission units. By increasing scale, larger organizations would be able to provide stronger professional leadership, improved fundraising, and more effective outreach.

A good example of this is The Mentoring Alliance, which brought together numerous organizations and programs into a more centralized structure. I have noticed that many of the youth and children’s programs in Smith County are small and would benefit from a larger and scaleable structure. A second example of this needed consolidation is the merger discussions currently taking place between Boathouse Ministries and Grace Community Church College Outreach.

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

In my job as both an RN and a Business Development Manager, I occasionally am conflicted and forced to make an ethical decision without compromising my personal integrity. A situation developed recently in which I felt that my integrity was compromised revolving around a diabetic and memory-impaired patient. This individual was set to lose critical health care services due to insurance changes. I was counseled by my superiors that there was no path forward for this patient and that I needed to “move on.” Instead of “moving on,” I went above and beyond for this patient over the next three months in the following ways:

TRANSITIONAL CARE- I was able to find this patient transitional care during the time of his lapse in coverage so that he did not have any adverse health effects from a lack of medical care. 
FAMILY INVOLVEMENT- I worked closely with the family to educate them on the best options and resources moving forward.
MEDICAL SERVICES- Through close communication and investment into this patient and his family, I was also able to get he (and his family) setup with additional needed medical care at an affordable cost.

In summary, instead of abandoning my integrity, I was able to provide this patient with the best medical care and resources possible.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

82

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 or community involvement is all about pitching in to make our community a better place. It includes things like volunteering, helping out with local events, and even participating in local government. It’s about working together for the common good and building a stronger, more connected community. This can mean voting, going to town hall meetings, or joining local boards to help shape policies. It can also mean getting involved in community-based efforts like organizing events, joining neighborhood groups, or helping with clean-up projects.

Personally, I’m really into helping those less fortunate and giving back. Over the next five years, I see myself getting involved in food drives to help fight hunger in our area. I also plan to join community clean-up projects to keep our neighborhoods clean and safe. These activities not only help those in need but also bring people together and build a sense of community. By doing this, I hope to contribute to a more caring and supportive place where everyone feels they belong.

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 by applying the knowledge and skills gained to drive positive change in our community. Through this program, I aim to enhance my understanding of local issues, develop effective leadership strategies, and build a strong network of like-minded individuals dedicated to community improvement. I plan to leverage these tools to initiate and support projects that address community needs, foster inclusivity, and promote social cohesion.

As an African American male, I bring unique qualities to a Leadership Tyler class. My background allows me to offer diverse perspectives and cultural insights, enriching discussions and decision-making processes. I believe in the power of diversity to inspire innovative solutions and drive progress. Additionally, my uplifting personality helps create a positive and collaborative environment, encouraging others to engage and contribute their best.

I am committed to fostering an inclusive community where every voice is heard and valued. My goal is to inspire others to embrace diversity and work together towards a common goal of improving the quality of life in Tyler. By bringing my unique experiences and perspectives to the table, I hope to contribute to the dynamic and forward-thinking leadership th

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 Tyler/Smith County, I see a real chance to shake things up by embracing diversity. It’s not just about being inclusive for the sake of it – it’s about recognizing the incredible value that different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds bring to the table. When we truly embrace diversity, we open doors to new ideas, fresh solutions, and a stronger sense of community.

Personally, I'm all in for this opportunity. I believe that by promoting diversity, we can make real changes in local government policies, support the less fortunate, and tackle other community issues head-on. Diversity isn't just about checking boxes – it's about bringing together people from all walks of life to collaborate, innovate, and create positive change.

I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get involved in whatever way I can. Whether it’s advocating for inclusive policies, supporting initiatives that uplift marginalized communities, or simply lending a helping hand where it’s needed most, count me in. Together, we can make Tyler/Smith County a place where everyone feels heard, valued, and empowered to make a difference.

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

As a sales rep at a department shoe store, I faced pressure to compromise my integrity during a big sales event. A regular customer wanted to return a clearly worn pair of shoes outside our return policy. The store was packed, and the customer threatened to report me to corporate if I didn’t process the return. The pressure to keep the customer happy was real, especially since our manager stressed customer satisfaction. I knew accepting the return would go against store policy and set a bad example.

I decided to handle it calmly. I explained our return policy to the customer and why I couldn’t process the return. I showed empathy for their frustration and offered alternatives, like a discount on their next purchase or store credit. I also informed my manager about the situation, explaining the customer’s complaint and my suggestions. My manager appreciated that I stuck to the policy and backed me up.

The customer was initially upset but eventually took the store credit and left without causing a scene. By sticking to my principles and finding a fair compromise, I upheld the store’s policies while trying to meet the customer halfway. This experience taught me the importance of maintaining ethical practices, even under pressure.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

83

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 / community involvement as the participation in a cause that produces a measurable impact or addresses issues through organizations. I have been surrounded by family and mentors that recognize the importance of civic involvement and have helped with opportunities to participate in my own outreach efforts. Some of my past efforts include volunteering for East Texas Food Bank, and Ocoee Outreach Missions. My most recent involvement includes volunteering for Children' Church, and my continued involvement with the University of Texas at Tyler. During my time as a student, I had mentors that recognized my leadership capabilities and encouraged me to help other students as well as spearhead events, projects and student organizations. After graduating, I have continued to stay active with the College of Engineering through speaking engagements, student organizations, and campus projects such as “Senior Capstone”. Capstone is UTT’s College of Engineering senior class project that allows students to demonstrate the construction management expertise they acquired throughout their four years as a student. In the next five years, I plan to continue my involvement with the students at UTT but see myself participating in something of a much larger scale within 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 plan to use Leadership Tyler as an avenue to slingshot by capabilities and utilize my experience by using the newly made connections of my fellow classmates to encourage consistency in community volunteering. From there, I plan to grow my relationships and connect with people of similar interests to help make Tyler the focal point of non-profit growth and bring recognition to the local groups that are making a huge impact in the Tyler/East Texas region. In addition, I would like to take my insight and forecasts of the construction industry, place it alongside my social network, and begin to strategies solutions to pressing and predicted issues within our families, communities, city, and local governments. Some unique qualities that I could bring to the Leadership Tyler class include outgoing social encouragement, using my values and life experiences to engage in other classmates to share similar visions, and use the perspective of my industry as a puzzle piece to connect with something bigger.

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 biggest opportunities for change in the Tyler/Smith County area is the master planning for our future infrastructure development. Tyler/Smith County is seeing a massive growth in education and healthcare. The growth in these sectors alone have and will ultimately drive population growth, therefor forcing Tyler to support these volumes through infrastructure improvements. Right now, we are in the perfect position to be proactive to an opportunity rather than reactive to a problem. With our current growth, we are already experiencing major congestion within our inner-city streets, highways, and traffic management. With my experiences in construction, as well as program and asset management, to create or join a committee(s) that can help establish a day one, five year, and ten year plus master plan that allows Tyler to comfortably adapt to the continued growth. This effort will ultimately drive the need for funding and various campaigning for support to make this vision happen. I believe Leadership Tyler is the best way to open this door and connect with individuals that will help drive this opportunity.

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

A time when I felt pressured to compromise an element of my integrity happened when I was still in high school. Throughout high school, I participated in numerous FFA events and competitions. One competition that I participated in every year was the “Farm Skills” competition. During my Junior year of high school, my team was made it to the State level competition in Huntsville. While we were there, we visited many different vendor tables (set up similar to a career fair). While visiting one of the vendor tables, I noticed a student from another chapter steal a few items from one of the shopping vendors that was selling various leather goods (very expensive stuff). The student noticed that I had seen him and joking made the comment “you didn’t see anything” as he walked by. I knew that it was wrong, and saying nothing would make me part of it and result in an internal ethical conflict that would damage my integrity. This student wasn’t the brightest of thieves as he was wearing a shirt with his school’s name on it. Upon leaving the exhibit, I was able to locate his chapter director (Ag teacher) and explain the situation in private. The student was asked to return all the items and give a face-to-face apology alongside a police officer.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

84

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 and community involvement as actively participating in activities and initiatives that contribute to the well-being and improvement of our community. In the next five years, I expect to be actively involved in civic and community volunteer experiences. First, I aim to join the board of a local non-profit organization, East Texas Aquatics, when a board position becomes available. I have already spoken with one board member regarding this interest. This will allow me to help shape programs that benefit our local youth and promote healthy lifestyles. Second, I intend to continue engaging in community outreach programs that promote diversity and inclusion. Volunteering with organizations such as the Alphabet Army, which advocates for marginalized groups, will enable me to support efforts in creating a more equitable community. Through these involvements, I hope to leverage my skills and experiences to make a meaningful difference, fostering a culture of service and leadership.

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 deepen my understanding of the critical issues facing our community and to develop practical leadership skills that will enable me to address these challenges effectively. The program's comprehensive training will enhance my strategic thinking, communication, and presentation skills, allowing me to be a more confident and influential leader. Additionally, these networking opportunities will connect me with like-minded individuals and community leaders. One of the unique qualities I bring to a Leadership Tyler class is my commitment to exploring and addressing the 'dark side' of management and organizational behavior. My research background in this area equips me with a nuanced perspective on issues such as exploitation, bias, and deviant behaviors in organizations. This perspective will be valuable in discussions on community and organizational development, as I can offer insights into identifying and mitigating negative behaviors that hinder progress.

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 significant opportunity for change in the Tyler area is the enhancement of educational and career development opportunities for underserved youth. The gap in access to quality education and career resources limits the potential of many young individuals in our community. By addressing this issue, we help shape a more educated, skilled, and empowered workforce, which is essential for our long-term economic growth and social well-being. To be personally engaged in this opportunity, I plan to leverage my leadership skills and experience to support local initiatives focused on education and youth development. Furthermore, I will advocate for policies and partnerships that foster collaboration between schools, businesses, and community organizations. By facilitating these connections, I believe we can create a comprehensive support system for youth, addressing both their academic and professional development needs. Through these efforts, I aim to contribute to a more equitable and prosperous Smith County, where every young person will have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

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

During my PhD program, I worked with a nationally renowned scholar in the field of Entrepreneurship. Despite his challenging nature, I valued the opportunity to learn from him. However, my perspective changed when I discovered that he had physically assaulted a friend of mine (another Ph.D. student at another institution) at an academic conference. I believe any form of violence is despicable and unacceptable. This put me in a difficult position. On one hand, continuing to work with him could significantly advance my career; on the other hand, associating with someone who had committed such an act went against my ethical principles. After much deliberation, I decided to prioritize my integrity. I held a meeting with the scholar and informed him that I could no longer work with him due to his behavior. This decision was not easy, as I was the less powerful party in our relationship and I risked potential repercussions, including professional setbacks. However, by standing firm on my values, I upheld my commitment to integrity, demonstrating that personal ethics cannot be compromised for career advancement. This experience reinforced my belief in the importance of aligning actions with principles, even when faced with challenging and high-stakes situations.

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