Monday, February 27, 2012

Why be a President's Ambassador?

The Vol State President's Ambassador program is one of the most prestigious academic scholarship programs at the College. It does a lot more than just provide financial support, it's a way to build your leadership skills. Vol State President's Ambassadors are among the most involved and respected students on campus. They have stringent requirements for the program. If you're academically eligible you will be receiving a letter in the mail. We thought this blog from current Ambassador Brandon Shaw would give you a reason or two to apply.

Many people have asked me how I’ve benefited from being a Vol State President’s Ambassador. Sometimes I find it hard to adequately answer this question, since being an Ambassador has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. If I were to put it simply, I would say that it has been amazing, but the effects it has had on my life go so much deeper than that. As a President’s Ambassador, I have seen myself grow far beyond any expectation I had set for myself, and I have done things that I never thought I was capable of doing. These last two semesters as an Ambassador have truly opened my eyes not only to my potential as a student, but also to all the possibilities that now lay before me.

I wasn’t always as high-reaching as I am now, however. When I came to Vol State, it was in the Fall of 2010, and I was coming straight out of high school. Like most newly-graduated students, I was somewhat intimidated by the idea of going to college. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about the prospect of spending another portion of my life stuck in a classroom either. I have to admit, I didn’t think I was capable of doing well academically, let alone serve as an Ambassador. I knew that I had a great life in store for me, filled with all the hopes and dreams I had made for myself, but in the way stood a high mountain known as “college.” This mountain can be difficult to climb and take a long time for some, and even longer for others. Some people attempt to make the ascent and change their mind, while others return to climb the mountain after trying once before. Some people don’t ever make it all the way over the mountain, while others do make it over and even go on to climb more mountains. I knew that I had to decide if I was up to the challenge or not. Looking back, I can still remember my very first day of class when I found myself standing in the quad, watching all the other students around me. In that moment, I realized that I was surrounded by college students, and that I was one of them. The realization that I was actually in college set in, and from that moment forward, I determined that I was going to make it all the way up this mountain, no matter how difficult the climb.

Since then, I have met challenge after challenge, and taken advantage of opportunity after opportunity, all the while continuing on my journey to the peak. With each new experience, I recognize even more the amount of growth I have undergone as both a student and a person. Where previously there was lack of direction, now there is purpose. Where there was inadequacy, now there is capability. And where there was fear of failure, now there is determination to try. So when someone asks me, “what has being a President’s Ambassador done for you?” I tell them, “it’s given me courage to climb the mountain.”

-Brandon Shaw
Vol State President's Ambassador

Volunteer State Community College

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