Elijah
Ice Hockey

I will be doing a gap year which is what I have wanted to do ever since freshman year to help the community we all live in and start a community service group at the rinks. I will also be doing a year of juniors for hockey in hopes I can play college hockey. Will also be taking online college courses during my gap year.

I enjoy helping others because I believe helping one person leads to them helping many others like a chain reaction.  Five years from now I see myself graduating college and going into the military. When I think back to my favorite memories at USPA I catch myself recalling my lowest points and biggest mistakes. Its important to know that I recall those moments not because I cant move past them but because those moments are what set goals for me, unwillingly. I overcame those goals and learned from my mistakes. I understand most people may say that overcoming those obstacles is the most memorable part, but I disagree. There is much more to learn from the negatives than the positives. When you can bring yourself to face your truly biggest mistakes your mentality towards any other obstacles will be much stronger and you will be able to overcome even bigger obstacles coming your way.

The one person I will remember from USPA is my coach Dennis McCauley. He was someone who spoke to kids with his actions. Everyday, even being treated the way our team did, he showed up to do his work which was coach a team of driven young men, but he did not show up just to show up. He showed up to teach his players that through all the issues you’re going through you can still give 110% to what you have faith in. I knew my coach personally. I would often work with him outside of hockey and his work ethic rubbed off on me. That contributes to the lesson of- when you surround yourself with good people you become good.

The people that are the most influential to me are those who learn from others and have the work ethic to apply those takeaway to themselves.
I would like to make the world a better place by being able to somehow influence more and more people to have a positive contribution to everyone’s lives. The more people brought together to do so creates a huge increase in the productivity of our society.

The most important lesson I have learned so far through my 17 years on this earth is that you need to have pride in what you do. People quit because they dont have pride in what they do. People stop because they are selfish and it’s just about them, but when you have a bigger purpose for why you’re doing what you’re doing it’s nothing for you to keep going once you’ve hit adversity. If every decision you make is just about you at a certain point in time you will hit something that’s a lot tougher than you and it’s going to make you quit because you don’t have a driving force for why you do what you do. So as I grow up it is simple for me to give everything I have. I am lucky enough to have adopted this mentality so in the future when I do hit something tougher than me I will be able, at any moment, to sacrifice what I am for what I will become.

What most excites me about taking my next steps into the future is the control I have on my own choices. There will not always be people there to guide me in the right direction and in that I see an opportunity to learn. I see an opportunity to make others around me motivated enough to change their life.
My quote: Have an open mind and always be willing to take the most from any situation you’re going through

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