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She Leads: Marisol Torres Reflects on Leadership, Girls Inc. Week 2020

By Girls Inc.

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Leadership is a purpose, I believe we all have inside of us. Sometimes it comes very naturally and sometimes it takes time for the leader in you to come out. Over the years my leadership skills have improved. I have become a stronger leader and I have learned to use my leadership in a more positive way. Working at Girls Inc. for the past six years has also had an impact on my leadership skills. The leader I am today has led me on a more positive path. I also take pride in paving the way of leadership for others.

I didn’t always know what leadership meant and, to be honest, I’m still learning more about it today. In a way, I always looked at teachers as leaders. They also teach students about leaders in history. My first impression of a leader when I was young was someone who makes a difference or takes a stand, like Frida Khalo or Rosa Parks. Something else that I recognized about a leader is that they are someone who tells others what to do. What I’ve realized is that I was always a leader and although I’ve been the leader of a group, I have always my own leader. I have always been able to say when I wasn’t comfortable with something and I realized that takes leadership skills because often times people are afraid to speak up.

Leadership comes in many forms. The president is the leader of a country, the principle can the leader of a school, a classmate can be the leader of a group project, and you can also be your own leader. There are many types of leadership but to me, leadership means that you will lead to a positive outcome. Whether it’s leading yourself to something positive or joining in to lead the world to be a better place. Leadership comes in many different ways.

I would say to be a great leader, you should first be a great leader to yourself and learn to lead yourself to what makes you comfortable and to speak up if something isn’t comfortable for you. Speaking up for yourself or for others is a way of leadership because it can open doors for others to do it, too. This is especially important for girls and women, since we are a minority that might drive us to not speak up and lead. Working at Girls Inc. as taught me a lot about being a female leader and how much of a difference it makes in a young girls’ life. It has also taught me more about being a leader as a woman of color. Being Latina, I’ve learned that being bilingual is a useful tool for my leadership, and Girls Inc. has helped me realize that. Whether it is communicating with the families we serve or others in the community, I have learned to take leadership in helping others who may only speak Spanish. I’ve learned that being a leader is helping others and leading the way or helping lead the way to a more positive outcome.

Working at Girls Inc. for the past six years has had an impact on my leadership skills…it  has taught me a lot about being a female leader and how much of a difference it makes in a young girl’s life. It has also taught me more about being a leader as a woman of color. Being Latina I’ve learned that being bilingual is a useful tool for my leadership…Girls Inc. has helped me realize that.

 

Our guest blogger is Marisol Torres, a facilitator at our Santa Barbara Center. Marisol shares her own reflections and lessons on leadership as a Latina in celebration of Girls Inc. Week 2020 and its theme, “She Leads,” promoting civic awareness and engagement for girls and teens.