Dawn Lee Clodfelter
High Point University
Who am I? Who are you? I think these questions are the most valuable questions in society, and we spend our whole lives trying to figure them out. Every day I learn something new, and I find in amazement that I am constantly growing. In high school I made the mistake of thinking I knew it all, and now I find myself trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible, and to never think I know enough. Going back to 2002 when I was in high school, I lived a very difficult life. I lived in an abusive home environment; my parents discouraged me from going to college, and to make matters worse I was made fun of because I couldn't afford the clothes others wore and because I had a physically noticeable eye muscle disorder. I learned through self-evaluation that I am a very ambitious person, and without the internal drive to make a difference, I would have never made it to college. I realized that even though I have a negative past, I did not have to let it dictate my life.
I decided to go to college, I made good grades, and I was even voted president of the national psychology honor society (Psi Chi). You would think that becoming president of an organization would change me, but it didn't. I had the tools necessary to be a great president, but I didn't know how to use them. It wasn't until I was nominated for this honor society that I really flourished as a person. Like most college students, I thought that this honor society would be a great title to put on my resume. Like my attitude in high school, I made the mistake of thinking that I knew it all and that I couldn't possibly learn much more. I went to the required leadership training day, and that is when something inside me changed. The words these people spoke gave me inspiration to learn more. I began attending the Success Networking T eam meetings, and I even began researching the leaders on the website. I couldn't believe that the leaders had come from backgrounds as severe and diverse as mine. These people were actually inspiring others, by not letting their past affect them and using it instead as a flame of hope. Their words gave me the motivation to do more, to be more, and to challenge myself.
I find myself perplexed how an organization can bring my qualities together and tie them into a beautiful bow. Even if I possessed the tools to be a good leader before this organization, they was not being used, because I had not learned how to use them effectively. I went back to my psychology honor society with these tools, and I have become the president they have always needed. I used my energy, my ambition, and my past to become a great leader. For the first time ever, Psi Chi at High Point University will be a part of a community service project, and the honor society has broken records with attendance. I decided that I wanted to give back, and that being a great leader means giving to those who need it most. My SNT group gave me the support I needed to pursue this goal, and now Psi Chi will walk for Juvenile Diabetes. I have even recruited some of my SNT group members. I know that I am not perfect, and that I will continue learning what it takes to be a leader, but I do know that this organization has made me a leader. This organization gave me the words of wisdom I needed, and the support to follow through with my goals. My goals for the future include becoming a clinical psychologist, and to be one of your motivational speakers so that I can inspire others the way this organization has inspired me. I am finally living my dream, and I know who I am. Dion Jordan said it best: "If you're not living your dream, whose dream are you living?? Thank you for changing my life!