My name is Marla Zappa, and I am a senior at Sacred Heart Griffin. Over the past four years, I have taken up numerous responsibilities that have helped shape me into the student I am today. I am currently the captain of the SHG poms team, which enhances my leadership skills used in CEO. I am also a member of Key Club, Our Lady of Nazareth, and Brave club. Through these school-sponsored activities, I have found a passion for volunteerism. In return to this newfound love, this past summer, I went on mission trip to Ohio and helped rebuild homes for the less fortunate. All of these programs and clubs have helped me realize that my true calling is to help others, and I intend to pursue that ability in my future with the guidance of Sangamon CEO.
Throughout my high school career, I have also learned to take risks and be bold. My mother is always telling me, “it doesn’t hurt to try.” By listening to this advice, I have realized that taking risks means there could be failures. Rather than focusing on these negatives that could potentially happen, I try to be positive. With positivity, you can have no “failures.” You simply look at it from another perspective. Applying for Sangamon CEO was one of my biggest risks. I truly did not think I would be accepted into this program. However, I remained hopeful, and it turned out to be one of my best risks I had ever taken. Through that experience, I gained confidence in myself and grasped the fact that I really can do anything I set my mind to. Currently, through CEO, I am continuing to learn and grow, not only in a business realm, but also personally. CEO is teaching me how to take bigger risks and strive to be the best version of myself along the way.

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