Common App. Prompt: Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
500 Words or less.The Turkey Lady
It is September of my last year in grade school and the Turkey Lady has caused a lot of stress for me. I have just completed five years at Pine Hill School and even the principal doesn't know who I am. My plan had always been to figure things out on my own and not ask for help until that fateful day in September. Mrs. Defusco, school librarian and the lady who dressed up each Thanksgiving as a turkey, cornered me and started to expand my world.
She nominated me for school president, a nomination I took reluctantly. The results came in and I was the President. Next followed a sheet of paper, an agenda for school meeting that I was responsible for delivering to five hundred students and parents. My stress level rose quickly and Mrs. Defusco reassuring said, "Brian I have been watching you for five years and this is nothing you can't do, you just have to be yourself and I'll be there helping you every step of the way." The words felt good but I still didn't believe the message.
That night I didn't sleep a second, I continued to dread my responsibilities as a leader and kept kicking myself for giving in to Mrs. Defusco's nomination so quickly. Night turned to morning and I found myself in front of the microphone, mouth dry, heart pounding up through the back of my throat as I introduced the first "share". I stepped up and said, "First off we have Johnny Coutts playing piano." I smiled realizing this leadership thing wasn't that tough for me. I gained confidence each time I spoke and in each meeting I led that year. I felt like a king.
The years passed and I looked for chances to replicate that experience. I applied to be a peer helper for incoming freshman and was accepted. I asked to join seniors, as a freshman, with my church youth group who were traveling to Guatemala on a mission trip. I stepped up on my sports teams and became captain of varsity soccer leading my team to a state championship. Most importantly to me, I became an entrepreneur first by starting a landscaping company and second by following my passion and creating a profitable music website. Kids in my school and in surrounding towns wear my T-shirts with pride promoting the site I created.
That one September day I got pushed and my world expanded. My potential for that day, and age, began to be recognized. I now look to leave that comfort zone again of home and community and wonder, "Who will be my next Turkey Lady?" I am hoping it will be your college.