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It’s actually quite funny. I received an email two days before Christmas from Donnell at Philadelphia Young Playwrights congratulating me on being selected to participate in 2014 LEAP leadership conference in California. Of course I was super excited at first, because I mean who isn’t when they hear that they are going to California? After a few hours, I decided to look at the email again because I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. After reading more about LEAP, I had many thoughts in my mind that this conference was not one that I would enjoy.
Summer slowly approached, and I knew that this conference was sneaking up on me. I decided to do some more research on it once again, and this time I was committed to thinking that this conference really wasn’t for me; but I knew that everyone kept talking about how much they enjoyed it… So I figured that I would give it a shot, what did I have to lose?
Arriving to LAX in my green LEAP shirt was a memory like no other. Right away other people in these green shirts approached me. They were super enthusiastic, and welcoming. I thought to myself, “Ok, this is comforting”…. But what am I getting myself into. When we finally arrived to UCLA, I was surrounded by hundreds of other students like myself. Some of those students who surrounded me had been to LEAP almost every year! I then realized that this must be a great program if it means people keep coming back and back again.
I finally settled myself in, and shortly after that began to feel more and more at home. I got to meet my team, and it was so diverse! I had teammates from Australia, Germany, Malaysia, and others from around the United States. We started out with a bunch of icebreakers, and really got to know one another in such a short time. You would have thought we known each other for years by the way we were laughing so much! Then moving on throughout the night, the conference started to become intense; but a good intense. Our minds were being exploded with so much great information. Information on how to be successful, especially when you enter the real world.