Essays Group 4b

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Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

160

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 integrating one’s skills, interests, talents and time with a group or groups that enriches and serves the community. In doing so, someone becomes a part of the fabric of a community; meeting others with similar visions, creating synergies and developing new ways to serve. Within the next five years, I’d like to become more active with Lion’s Club, which serves a variety of needs and continue to serve with Kourage Health. I’d also like to find a path that allows me to work with younger people who are still developing their professional anchors. This could include high school, college or young professionals, I feel like this is an important time in life and they can make small changes now that can have huge impact on their future.

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

I expect to utilize the LT experience to build both professional and personal relationships with individuals that I may not have encountered within my normal rhythms and routines of my life. As we journey through the course experiences, we will undoubtedly learn about one another and, hopefully, we can all come away with 2 or 3 close friends with whom we can continue to develop ideas and opportunities. In that course of events, I believe that I bring a unique quality of developing others. I’m very interested in what I can do to help someone else succeed and pursue their dreams. I often find myself in the role of dreamer, encourager, and confidence builder when I’m talking through opportunities with friends and colleagues.

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?

Reviewing some statistics from our area, something that jumps out to me is the health and wellness of our community being lower that peer group cities. Although strides are being made to create opportunities for people to live healthier lives, I believe that this is still and area that needs more support. For instance, according to the 2022 data collected by US News survey, https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/texas/smith-county, Smith county has an obesity prevalence of 37.9%, which is higher than state, national and peer group averages. This will continue to affect our health and wellbeing for decades but could be reversed if tackled through multiple channels such as school programming, accessible recreation, social groups, and fitness training availability to name a few.
I would love to be personally involved in something like this. Selfishly, I’m responding to a need I see in my own life to have a program that is more accessible to me on my fitness journey, so I would be interested in helping from a grassroots perspective. I’m open to exploring what my involvement might look like, but I think it could be as simple as joining a league or it could be more high level as a member of a task force or board that has similar goals as its strategic mission.

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

As a young man, I was working as general hand at a facility that was doing a new construction project. As we were staining and lacquering the new wood floor, one of the faucet fittings failed and the room was flooded. The floor would have to be redone and blame was laid at the feet of a plumber. He accepted the blame and the ire of the management. Upon my inspection of the failed faucet, I realized that this was one that I had installed while helping to take some items off the to-do list. After having seen the anger caused by the failure and after hearing the way the plumber was disparaged, my first inclination was to go along with the verdict and let the storm pass me by. However, after some deliberation, I knew the decision was clear. I told the director that I was the person to blame for the flood and any consequences should be mine. It was amazingly uncomfortable and freeing at the same time. I knew that I couldn’t lie about that incident, and that I couldn’t let someone else’s reputation suffer because of me. Although there were consequences, one of them was good; the management knew that I was trustworthy and would tell the truth even it put me in a negative light, so moving forward, they gave me even more responsibility, money and status at the organization.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

162

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 and civic involvement are fundamental ways for individuals to give back to their environment and habitat. These acts of service represent expressions of gratitude and reciprocity towards the community that nurtures and supports them. Engaging in community service is not merely an obligation; it is a vital component for the growth and enhancement of the community. By actively participating in community projects and volunteering efforts, we contribute to a healthier, more vibrant, and cohesive society.
In the next five years, I am committed to dedicating the majority of my time to both volunteering and facilitating projects aimed at the betterment of our community. This dedication stems from a deep belief in the power of collective action and the positive change it can bring. Through sustained effort and collaboration, we can address pressing local issues, support those in need, and create a more inclusive and supportive environment for everyone. My involvement will span various initiatives, from organizing community clean-ups and educational programs to supporting local non-profits and community centers. Each project will be a step towards building a stronger, more resilient community. By volunteering my time and skills, I hope to inspire others to join in these efforts.

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

When I reflect on what I bring to the Leadership Tyler table, I recognize that my unique gifts set me apart. My ability to perceive strengths where others see weaknesses, identify opportunities where others encounter obstacles, and offer encouragement where others find exhaustion is particularly distinctive. These attributes allow me to contribute a fresh perspective and inspire those around me. On a personal level, my involvement with Leadership Tyler represents a full-circle moment in my life. Born and raised in the Athens/Tyler area, my formative years were spent navigating the Tyler Independent School District (TISD). These early experiences shaped my understanding of our community and fueled my passion for local development. Now, as a husband, father, and business owner in Tyler, I see my participation in Leadership Tyler as the culmination of my leadership journey and life experiences. Professionally, my journey has been deeply intertwined with the ethos of Leadership Tyler. The principles and values I have embraced throughout my career resonate with the mission of Leadership Tyler. This organization is more than just a platform for professional growth; it is a beacon of personal transformation and community empowerment.

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?

When I think about what needs change in the Tyler/Smith County area, I can't help but revisit my childhood, and realize the fact that my family tree is full of suicide, and suicide still runs rampant in our community today, no matter how many nonprofits we may have to 'prevent' it. One thing that I am very passionate about is that the way 'suicide prevention' is done today isn't actually effective enough to solve the problem, and the proverbial Titanic is headed straight for the iceberg. The vision I have to solve this problem is far greater in Tyler, but it must be birthed here, I certainly feel that in my spirit.

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

One of my favorite quotes is 'it is only the one who has lost their personal integrity that understands how expensive it truly is.' For me, while dealing with my trauma, one of the things I compromised was my personal integrity. It wasn't necessarily 'pressure' that I felt, I just felt that I needed to be someone different to be accepted. I believed a core lie that wasn't what my Creator defined me as. Through years of therapy, supernatural encounters with Jesus, and a whole lot of forgiveness...God has been restoring me ever since, and He alone gets the glory. Simply from that experience I've started writing a book called "Jesus and Trauma" and have started starting small groups for people who have made weak choices, paid the consequences, and are desperate for the redemption and reconciliation that only comes from Jesus.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

163

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?

From a very young age, I witnessed firsthand the importance of civic/community engagement, even though I didn’t fully grasp its significance at the time. My father and grandfather were the ones who initially instilled this value in me. It’s through their example that I’ve come to see civic/community involvement not as something that is left only to people in positions of power, but as a responsibility that is shared by all members of a community. Civil/community involvement and leadership is all about being a driving, committed force in the community and actively working to make a positive impact. I’ve been fortunate since moving back to Texas to join in on some amazing work being done in Tyler. My plans are to continue the work that I’m doing with the East Texas Symphony Orchestra as well as the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and hopefully get the opportunity to work on the board after completing my time with the Contact Club. Over the next five years, I hope to also be involved with helping increase the affordable housing stock in Tyler. In a broader sense, I expect to be involved in the ongoing conversations and work happening in Tyler to make it a healthy, vibrant and more equitable 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?

Despite having a history of community involvement, I know there is a lot of room for me to develop as a leader. I know that if I can get a deeper understanding of the challenges facing our community, the more effective leader I can be. One of my main objectives would be to use this experience to gain a deeper understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses as a leader. Leadership has to start with listening and getting the opportunity to learn from Tyler's great community leaders and from my follow classmates who will have their own unique experiences and perspectives would be invaluable. Having been born in Texas, raised in Arkansas and lived in Louisville, KY for the past 10 years, I've had the opportunity to experience different regional cultures, economies and ways of life. This has given me a unique perspective that I believe will be an asset to the incoming Leadership Tyler class. With my diverse background, I'd bring a broad perspective, an open mind and an eagerness to learn from and collaborate with the Leadership Tyler team.

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 big opportunity for change I see in the Tyler/Smith County area centers around our growing housing crisis and lack of affordable housing options for many residents. Housing prices have continued to outgrow wages, and this has led to housing insecurity among our counties most vulnerable citizens. The Neighborhood Services Department has programs trying to address these issues, but more can and needs to be done. As many know, Tyler was recently named the best place to move to in Texas and these issues will continue to grow if we don't aggressively fight them. We could combat this issue by establishing a Smith County Affordable Housing Trust Fund as a way for the county/city to invest additional local public funds to address the shortage. I would love to eventually work on the Neighborhood Services Revitalization Board to help develop new approaches of tackling this problem. This is a big, complex - less flashy - opportunity to improve life in Tyler but it's a worthwhile one that deserves more attention and I look forward joining in on the working being done to address this issue.

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

Working on the lending side of banking, there are times when you are structuring a deal for a client, and you will feel pressure to overlook certain aspects of the analysis or make adjustments you wouldn't otherwise make. In my line of work and with any line of work, honesty, consistency, courage and responsibility are essential. Early on in my career, I felt that pressure much more strongly. I was working with a large client once where the purpose of the loan was switched to try and avoid interest rate adjustments that would cost the client thousands of dollars. I had the courage to address this with the client and they eventually withdrew that deal to move forward with another institution because we wouldn't make the adjustment. I fortunately grew up surrounded by many principled people who taught me the importance of strong integrity. I learned a lot about myself through that situation. That experienced strengthened my moral character and helped me become a better leader personally and professionally.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

165

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

I believe everyone is responsible to use the gifts received from God not only to help themselves and their family but to also help the community. There is a wealth of gifts and skills present in the community of Tyler and everyone should see the importance of helping to recruit volunteers to make our community better and to help those who need help. My current volunteer work has been focused mostly in Frankston where I live but I would definitely like to do more in Tyler. I am currently a member of the Women’s Fund and would like to become more involved at the committee level for that organization. I was also introduced to Therapet last year and have plans to become a volunteer to help with that organization and perhaps one day train my dog to be a Therapet! I also am very passionate about helping non-profits with internal controls and other important financial policies to ensure the success of the 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?

I moved to the Tyler area in 2016 and had a pretty significant job change a couple of years after that so I have not had much time to meet many people in Tyler. I am excited by the opportunity to meet other people besides my co-workers who live and work in Tyler and to have the opportunity to form new relationships. I also welcome the opportunity to learn about Tyler so that I can determine what I might be able to do to make Tyler successful. As a CPA and Manager, I have financial expertise and leadership skills that I am sure can enhance projects or goals for the Tyler area.

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 think the opportunity for change in the Tyler/Smith County area revolves around the youth. When I first arrived in Tyler I noticed that it was largely a retirement community. But, I think there is so much potential in this area because this is a diverse community with people from large cities, small cities, diverse backgrounds, diverse fields of employment, and philosophies. If the amount of expertise and knowledge the people in this community have could be shared with the youth, there are no boundaries to what the Tyler/Smith County Area could achieve. The older generation could share entrepreneurial skills, philanthropic goals, and wisdom that could ignite the youth of the Tyler area. I have many years of experience working with youth groups and I am always surprised by the ideas they have and the clarity in which they view the world. I would welcome the opportunity to help them prepare for a new and exciting future in this wonderful community.

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

I was asked in a prior position to endorse a person for a job in which they were not experienced. This position would have directly reflected on my department and involved donor funds and required bookkeeping knowledge and expertise of fund accounting. I made an appointment with a supervisor and shared my concerns and provided concrete reasons why this position should be handled in a different way.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

168

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

For me, true involvement means being present and willing to do the work. Joining organizations should mean more than a line on a resume. There should be time spent actually serving its mission.

Over the next 5 years I plan to continue serving the organizations I currently serve: Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce- Contact Club, The Rotary Club of Tyler and Love Thy City. My service to the Contact Club keeps me aware of new businesses coming to my city. The Rotary Club allows my service to help others abroad. Love Thy City gives me the pportunity to serve those in my community that may not be as fortunate as I am while giving them access to services they may not be aware of. I would also like to serve organizations that address women’s causes as well as The American Cancer Society. (I’m a survivor)

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

As a leader in my organization, the Leadership Tyler experience will be a great benefit. I am sure that I will learn more about how to lead a team and offer grace in the midst of frustration. I expect to learn more about what is “trending” in various areas of leadership. I want to be able to utilize and share what I’ve learned; not only with my team but with fellow leaders.

I am a fast learner. I am a team player. I am a good written and verbal communicator. I am often able to see trouble miles ahead. I'm inquisitive (nosey) which helps me to ask the right questions to get to the core of an issue in order to reach a resolution. I believe all of these qualities are beneficial to leadership and 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?

I love my city, however, I believe there is an invisible line that divides the north and south parts of Tyler. Although it has blurred some since my return to the area, it still exists. For some it is racial. but I believe that it is less racial and more cultural. There are instances when one side could benefit from collaborating with the other.

My engagement in change means that I keep showing up. I continue to be present and give my experience a voice. It means that I continue to take my seat at the table. It means that I continue to encourage others to put their biases and fears aside and venture out, to see all that this beautiful city
has to offer

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

As a retail manager I worked for someone that was called hard. She ran a tight ship and had high expectations. She was hands on but never asked more than she was willing to give. She rewarded her team and taught us to do the same. Nevertheless, she ruffled feathers within the organization. One by one, each of her store managers were called in to share their experience with her. We felt we were being interrogated and pressured to only share negatives. I answered honestly. When asked if I had anything else to share,I told them that she had taken a chance on promoting me because of my limited experience. Because of her push the last 3 stores I’d managed for them performed in the top 10% of the company. Four of my assistants had been promoted to their own stores. During holiday time, she made sure that her managers scheduled themselves so they had time off with their families. Once, she’d even threatened to call an ambulance to my store to transport me to the hospital when I refused to go home even though I was very sick. Like everyone else, I felt the pressure. I was afraid that my career was on the line if I didn’t go with the program. But I knew that I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t offer a truth that others had experienced but were afraid to share.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

170

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

I believe it is the city’s responsibility to provide the resources and assistance that all citizens need in order to thrive. The way we accomplish this is through community involvement. Our village has the knowledge and/or resources needed to make pivotal progress towards any set targets; however, it’s most important to realize we must be a community and discover the best practices of communication to be an effective community.

I expect to be engaged in not only the efforts of Love Thy City volunteerism but use the network and connections being established through those efforts to contribute my service and talents to other opportunities. As an educator, my heart is for students and their families. I expect to engage in any available opportunities that connect and support those parties.

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

The Leadership Tyler experience will afford me the opportunities to establish connections with other problem-solvers. Our city is the answer for our city. I believe God has gifted us with the knowledge and skills necessary to create and enhance solutions and with this experience I get to share my gifts to serve with others focused on progressing Tyler in every industry.

With family from Louisiana, I believe the best analogy to describe my qualities is a gumbo. It is a mixture of so many ingredients that’s not their best alone, but together creates an experience all can enjoy. I am an innovative thinker who enjoys the perspectives of others and using that to create and organize systems that tell stories. I was able to bring my mass communication knowledge into the world of education and develop a unique perspective to share and communicate stories whilst learning.

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 is an opportunity to change the narrative of education in our city. This is not to say we are not excelling and demonstrating “successful student outcomes.” It is to to say we can always polish. The greatest area of need in our school system is community involvement. As an educator, I have the first-hand opportunity to experience the negative effects of lack of community support. I’ve witnessed and engaged in ways to combat the effects; however, it takes the village.

With the social-emotional changes our students have experienced since 2019, it will take more of our hands and hearts to engage and involve ourselves in the growth and success of our students and families of Tyler. I will continue to engage in opportunities to support whilst using my talents to create structures and opportunities for others to engage with our local schools in meaningful ways.

Many of our students become the working-citizens of our city. It should give us great joy to know we were involved in helping develop them and securing a successful future for our home.

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

The pressure came when my personal integrity was questioned in a way that crossed ethical boundaries. I am learner before I am a teacher which always makes me step back and evaluate the situation. This way I could focus on the conflict and not the person. “People are not your problem,” I repeat often. It was important to come together and agree on the what the conflict is before we could resolve. It’s a challenge to have expectations that haven’t been established between the two parties.

I understand “clear is kind.” From this, I chose to clearly state the expectations moving forward and taking responsibility for my role in the conflict. I was able to walk away from the situation with an understanding that compromise is necessary when it is necessary.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

172

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 a way for an individual to have a sense of ownership and pride for their city! Each individual has the chance to give back to the community, instead of simply being a part of the population. Even if it's not volunteering, being involved in the community can really help an individual feel valued. I view it just like a friendship relationship. You can't have a strong friendship without putting forth effort. Community involvement is a way that an individual can build a better relationship with their city. Instead of an individual saying, "I just live in this city", the goal should be to get them to say, "this is my city that I am choosing to live in, and I will try my hardest to take care of it”.

When it comes to what I see myself doing the next five years regarding community involvement, I see myself growing my knowledge when it comes to the health insurance industry, and I will continue to be Involved with board. This was my first year on the board, so I see a lot of potential for growth. I will continue doing the trash pick up program with my kids every year through the city.

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 job requires me to be a face in the community. Employers look to me and they trust me when it comes to their health insurance needs. I would love to be able make new friendships, have more connections, And hopefully utilize my connections to help employers even more.

Even though I’m no longer in the restaurant industry, I still have a passion for employees. I think it’s important to have people who care for employees And strive to take care of them. The more knowledge I can gain from this program on how I can do that, the better.

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 firmly believe employers need to understand the health insurance industry better. With all of the laws changing it doesn’t make it easy.
There needs to be a free resource available.
I sometimes find employers don’t trust their agents as much as they should because they know the agent is getting commission and paid to do their job, Or the agent fails to reply.
It would be beneficial if there was a resource in Tyler an employer could call and ask health insurance questions, regarding anything from how their plan works, to the ACÁ laws that are in place… The amount of questions that could be a possibility are endless.

There is a surprising amount of employers that stay loyal to their agents, even though they are not happy with their service, in doing so, they are doing themselves a disservice. Unfortunately, many employers choose to stay with their agent because of the politics involved.

But there is no need for the employees to suffer because of that. So yes, a “no strings attached” program I feel like would be useful to employers in this area.

How can I help? I would absolutely volunteer my phone number to answer any questions employers may have., And with my knowledge of what I am learning since I am on the NABIP board, , I would be beneficial.

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

I feel like in my industry, I am put into positions fairly often that I have to decide between what is right and wrong.

Insurance agents can be extremely pushy and demanding to employers. I see it all the time and I’ve actually heard employers say “I am too scared of my agent to leave them”.

Just recently, I was meeting with a client who had been with their agent for over 40 years. Their agent was in Dallas, and they weren’t happy with the customer service.
I was familiar with this agency, so I knew the potential negatives and the holes in the service that they provide.
This employer would not commit to letting me handling their insurance.

Because I understand employers and respect them, I did not push them or bash their current agent. , I swallowed my pride and simply told them “I respect your loyalty, and I respect your decision.”

Funny, I ended up getting the client… I honestly feel like it’s because I gained their trust but choosing the path less traveled by.

I honestly don’t view myself as being good in sales. I think a lot of people that are in sales tend to view clients as another number.

I never want my clients to fear me. But some agents are driven by employers fear.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

174

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 operative support and participation necessary to implement positive change in the community. Involvement can include individuals, groups, or organizations that are committed to the overall improvement of the community.

The civic/community volunteer experience that I expect to be involved in within the next five years is helping those in my community seek and maintain employment. With Human Resources being a passion of mine, recognizing that employment is imperative to the livelihood of our community has peaked my interest to create or be a part of initiatives that will allow me to use my expertise to serve my community.

Furthermore, as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, we are committed to public service. I will continue to serve my community through our various initiatives such as volunteering with PATH, March of Dimes, East Texas Food Bank etc.

As a Chamber of Commerce member, I desire to serve on the Education/Human Resource Committee to help support the development of education and training opportunities.

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 my experience by actively seeking to improve issues exposed by the program. Learning the necessary tools needed will allow me to flourish into the community leader I aspire to be. Furthermore, Leadership Tyler's mission to equip leaders to enrich our community will only enhance my commitment to community engagement, and being an impetus to necessary change. I am deeply invested in giving back to my community and leveraging my skills and resources to address pressing social issues. Whether through volunteering, advocacy, or collaborative projects, I am committed to making a meaningful impact and inspiring others to join me in collective action.

A unique quality I will bring to Leadership Tyler is innovative thinking. As a human resource professional, innovative thinking is a necessary key to positive change. This quality will allow me to effectively foster new initiatives and create space for our growing community. I believe it is significantly important to be adaptive when addressing vital issues our community is facing and to properly leverage positive outcomes. I will also bring optimism. I believe optimism is imperative when discovering ways to better help the community, and allows one to be proactive in meeting goals.

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 that I personally see in the Tyler/Smith county area is the opportunity to address the knowledge gap between the skills and competencies required for effective leadership and organizational change. Our community has great potential to advance our organizations professionally however, I believe that this knowledge gap exists due to the lack of developmental opportunities offered to our community. Properly addressing this knowledge gap can have positive impacts on both individuals and organizations, which in turn will cultivate our leaders to further strengthen our area.

I could be personally engaged in this opportunity by utilizing my organization and expertise to help develop and coordinate a systematic approach in further identifying the gaps in skill and competency. Thenceforth, implementing targeted trainings, workshops, and other professional development opportunities that will focus on soft skills, cultural competence, and continuous learning.

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

In my role as human resources consultant, it is imperative that ethics and integrity are maintained as it greatly impacts stakeholders as well as the organization and its culture.

A senior level executive of a company I consulted suggested that I omit certain information found in a potential hire’s background check as the company would benefit a great deal from the hire. I was taken back by the request as I had never been asked to falsify information.

Naturally, you want your clients to be satisfied with your services and to be a raving fan; especially being a part of the same community. However, handling the situation with dishonesty negates all values and principles not only professionally, but personally as well. I handled this by requesting a meeting with executive, and I unequivocally expressed my concerns, and my unwillingness to partake in the omission of the candidates information. Unfortunately, the conversation ultimately concluded in an annulment of the partnership.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

175

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 being involved in your local community using your skills, passion and knowledge to empower others to overall improve the quality of each other. Each community has a diversity of issues and strengths and by utilizing your given talent and being open to gain knowledge, the possibilities one can give to support, to build a stronger environment could carry forward. I am looking forward to spending more time learning about the community I live in and see what I can do to help others. Due to personal experiences I would like to be able to help those that may not know how to help themselves. The life and struggles of individuals that suffer with mental health and the lack of care or knowledge on how to get care for a loved one is important to me. Mental health issues begins as small as a parent, or sibling and without support can become a tragic circumstance that impacts our families and communities. To be able to help a child whose home is impacted with mental health issues, help them break a cycle and become a positive, responsible member of the community would be a success and I would consider a remarkable achievement.

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 with great hope that by completing the core class of LT and meeting others in the community I will gain bonds of friendships and resources of knowledge. I am not a social person, but I truly love people and getting to know others and hearing how they have been overcomers is always a pleasant experience for me. I just generally don't push myself to purposely meet others. I want to learn how to become more social and build my social skills so I can have the courage and confidence to accomplish my goal of helping others. I was born in Tyler and raised my family here and with the growth Tyler is seeing there is a greater need to become involved in the community. Being around a diversity of others through LT will is a great start to personal growth for me. Through my adult life I have been lucky to experience a career with working in the corporate and operation environment of finance business. I am now in the last era of my career working in a non-profit organization as a finance officer. This experience with working at a place that is mission driven to help others has given me the desire to become more active in the community of Tyler.

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

With the rapid growth in Tyler over the years I believe we have not kept up with keeping the community equally supported. We should help revitalize the neighborhoods and support diversity of growth in all areas of Tyler. As our community grows we should continue to support the 'original area' of Tyler and make sure the needs of all neighborhoods are strong and viable. Keeping awareness of our locally owned businesses and supporting these businesses help keep families strong and empowers the next generation. Supporting our local fire, police and political powers to help achieve unity is critical. As a community we need to grow stronger by recognizing where resources are needed to mend or protect and finding a way to obtain the necessities to accomplish long term solutions. I would like to learn more of what our representatives and strong social influencers' visions are and find the path for me to join in and help. I know with committing to and becoming engaged with LT I will find that path and become a great asset to the community.

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

I recall a difficult time in my career in finance when I worked for a company that had a top executive that was not conducting business in an ethical manner. It was a limited partnership where there was little accountability over him. The company was once a highly profitable business and had great potential to keep growing however the executive was using company money to pay for personal expenses. I was directed by him to misrepresent some of these expenses in the financial records and when I questioned the ethics of doing this I risked losing my job. I could not work in an environment where greed and lack of integrity existed. I was fortunate enough to have the support of one of the board members and in time the company partners became aware of what was occurring and replacement of that executive happened. I could have made the choice of just leaving however by knowing that this persons actions were impacting the financial investment of others was too important. I worked closely with the replacement and was privileged to see the company recover and gain back the equity for all investors. It was a great feeling that by doing the right thing mattered, no matter how difficult it was.

Applicant Essay ResponsesEssay Repsonses

Entry ID

176

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 means being engaged in activities that support and improve the lives of the people around you. There are different ways to be engaged, such as volunteering time, building relationships, donating funds, leading a committee, or simply starting a conversation. However, all activities support a common goal of helping fill a gap or finding a solution to a problem.

I spent much of my childhood in Henderson, Texas. When I moved away for schooling, I missed the way the East Texas community cared for each other. I’ve seen similar characteristics within the Tyler community since moving here nearly six years ago. I’d love to be a person that continues the tradition of neighborly love in our community, whether that’s by being involved in my church, volunteering at the food pantry, or being an advocate for those businesses and people that are making a difference in our town. I hope to become more involved and active in those conversations and spaces over the next five years.

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

Leadership Tyler will be a tremendous resource to learn even more about Tyler and the other good works others are doing to improve our community. It will provide a great chance to engage with other professionals in the area who have a common goal of wanting to make the Tyler community even better. I believe that often the best and most beneficial solutions are made by collaborating and taking all points of view into consideration.

I bring a pretty unique crossover between higher education and healthcare; but even more, I think my marketing background provides a special lens for helping recognize new or different ways to connect people with the information or resources they may need. I had an amazing opportunity to leave East Texas and gain great skills through my education at university. I’m now excited to use some of those skills to help build and make this community even greater.

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 worked in healthcare marketing since I moved to Tyler in 2018 – first in acute care and then within higher education. There have been tremendous steps in providing the best health care possible in the region, and the community continues to make strides to bring high-quality caregivers and facilities into the area.

However, I often see a gap in preventative care and educating people on the steps they can take to lead an overall healthier life. According to studies, East Texas is arguably the unhealthiest region in the state. The region often has higher rates of mortality due to health-related issues like cardiac disease, stroke, cancer, and kidney disease. Although these rates continue to decrease each year, they remain among the highest in the state.

I would love to be someone who advocates for changes in the community that help East Texans live all-around healthier lives. Personally, I’ve found motivation to exercise more regularly through getting involved in local triathlons. I’d love to see the biking community gain safer and more robust biking lanes, so the activity is more accessible to the public in Tyler.

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

When I first began working in a professional setting, people would sometimes question my efficacy, often based on my age or unfamiliarity with my role in their department. It was disheartening to feel like my background and experience was being minimized due to my newness in the role, despite previous experience and qualifications. However, I recognized that building relationships often takes time and trust could eventually be earned.

I wanted them to have a voice in the campaign planning process. I would make sure to run all plans by them to incorporate their feedback. And while I was initially hesitant to work with those who doubted my abilities, undertaking these projects gave me an opportunity to show my capabilities first-hand. Often, the people that originally had reservations found me more than capable of planning and running marketing campaigns on behalf of their departments, and we were able to build a good working relationship over time.

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