My Greatest Influence

Describe a significant experience that has special meaning for you.ANDDescribe someone who has had a significant influence on your life.

My greatest inspiration, and my greatest influence, comes from not just one person but from a group. This group is my non-biological family, and happens to be a small, homegrown nonprofit organization. Without this group, I would not be the person I am today.

When I was just 17, and the others were that age or younger, a group of seven friends and I decided to break away from the inequity of our high school drama club and attempt a theatre troupe of our own. With a lot of hard work, passion, and dedication we managed to succeed, even when we were surrounded by doubts and skeptics. In one move, I became both the executive director of a completely student-run nonprofit organization and the director of a rambunctious, talented, and immensely loving troupe of actors.

And so a group of young people was put in a situation that would normally be very trying on a friendship. We were in business together. But instead of straining our bonds, it made them much stronger. Those seven people taught me and continue to teach me so much. Chris teaches me how to understand my own emotions; John teaches me how to laugh at the world; Emma teaches me how to speak my truth; Gio teaches me that it’s okay to be taken care of; Lili teaches me the virtue...

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