By JACKY BURKE
Scottsdale Leadership Class 24
I am a member of Scottsdale Leadership Class 24, so a “newbie” to the experience of being a part of this organization. Being in the nine-month Core Program has already made a difference to me. Even receiving my acceptance letter made an impact. All of the people who agree to participate in Scottsdale Leadership, in my opinion, make a promise to become a leader in our communities, be it on a large or small scale. Scottsdale Leadership’s founders and alumni, which include mayors, city managers, large business owners, Chief of Police, etc, have chosen me, through the selection committee as their proxy, to be one to make a difference. In fact, I believe that all the citizens of Scottsdale, in effect, trust the Scottsdale Leadership selection committee to help develop some of their future leaders. That being said, I take my commitment very seriously.
My acceptance into the Core Program gave me more faith in myself. It made me realize there has been something inside that wanted me to make a difference, but didn’t know how to start. I turned to Scottsdale Leadership for guidance and teaching. I want to make a tangible difference in the world, even if it is on a local scale, something clearly shown where I made an impact and improved the lives of other people in a meaningful way. One place I started was with my own businesses. Scottsdale Leadership gave me the confidence to hire my first employee. I felt that in this economy, I would love to give someone a job, someone who deserved it and could use it more than me. I had enough work to go around, so I went for it.
Scottsdale Leadership has helped me understand the many needs in our community. I’ve been consistently donating to our local food bank and participated in the Adopt-a-Family program with fellow classmates.
At one of our recent class days, Chris Irish, executive director of Scottsdale Leadership, announced open positions on Commissions for the City of Scottsdale. I decided to pick the best one for me and apply. I don’t know if I will get the appointment, but at least I am learning about ways that exist to make a difference.
I hope that I can do it! I’ll take the advice of some of the great speakers we have had in class, who have made huge differences in the City of Scottsdale. They told us to start small and just take it from there. You never know where it will take you, as they hadn’t known themselves, but you never know unless you try.
Thanks to the entirety of Scottsdale Leadership, for the faith you have placed in me, and I hope to exceed your expectations!