Vol. 2, Iss. 5 | January 2021

Susana Chapa, Adjunct Faculty, UTRGV
Young Leaders’ Summit Guest Speaker’s Speech

Los Fresnos ISD Ambassador, Manuela Gracia introduced keynote speaker, Susan Chapa UTRGV adjunct professor.  Manuela aspires to become an aerospace engineer.

Speach by Susie Chapa, UTRGV

Being a school ambassador is a very prestigious role and such a great leadership opportunity.
~ Susie Chapa

Every day each of you will have the opportunity to learn, to grow, to accept, and to be accountable for yourself: YOU! Being the best at what you do, and who you have to do with outdoing YOURSELF! Waking up every morning and asking yourself: How can I be better today…. not in the sense of competing against anyone… BUT by competing against yourself. When you compete and outdo yourself, you are guaranteed that what you are working towards will always give you JOY, and that JOY will always give you that continued advancement that you allow in your life!

As an ambassador, and leader….You have now been able to experience and you will continue to experience planning, communication, leadership, teambuilding….and so much more…all while offering your own creativity and your own ideas, using your own voice and perspectives. Leadership does not have like 5 specific things that make you a great leader…. Leadership is actually a lifestyle….it is constant change and a constant challenge that comes with commitment.

A leader is responsible for other human beings….so the responsibility is to always be a student of LEADERSHIP! This means reading, meeting with others, asking questions, listening to others…always working on YOU! There will be ups & downs, successes & failures of leadership…. But great leaders NEVER STOP LEARNING….and that learning is up to YOU! This is an exciting time to be able to know YOU! Because you are a LEADER!

By Nature, I am a very passionate person. I think that passion really drives what I do daily, and I see the opportunity how each day allows me to be passionate. But ultimately….the passion is because I love people. So, what I would like to share with you today is to never lose sight of Who You Are and Your Vision: Because each one of you is a leader, and leaders set high standards. You must always remember the leader within you and let everyone see it! You need to know, that You will always have the power of hope guiding you, so hope will always give you the strength to endure whatever life brings your way. Knowing YOU and Your Passion is what will always make you that outstanding leader, the leader that others admire and are influenced by because of your actions.

And with these actions come the opportunity to stand out from the crowd…and be the example of WHY others will want to follow YOU…. But what does stand out from the crowd mean to YOU? Does it mean…looking different from everyone else around you, or does it mean going the extra mile to prove that you are one of a kind in Skills, Talent, or Personality… Or basically that YOU embrace your individuality and trusting that your own choices are good ones….because the person you’re projecting out to everyone shows SUCCESS because you’re totally confident about YOU!

As a leader, you need to be prepared to voice your differences, your concerns, and your preferences. But always coming across self-assured and knowledgeable. As a leader, don’t be swayed….because as a leader who stands out…you are going to need to stop and ask the hard questions sometimes. Such as “Is there a point to this? Asking the WHY much more at times. As a leader, you must take chances or risks and work hard……. Most times a person in a leadership position won’t take up the challenges because they’re afraid of failure….Yet without failures, nothing new can be gained and it is only those who are willing to take risks and to work hard at their dreams who eventually breakthrough and gain Success.

So, what leaders need to do is to find new ways to get people’s attention and stay noticed. Here is where your creativeness comes in…. And what I am going to share is something very traditional and simple that will always keep others attention on YOU…and that is going to be Your good Manners. Politeness opens doors and it keeps the doors open. Might sound old-fashioned but a person who respects themselves and respects others…will always have an open door! Good Manners is Simply saying: Thank you, shaking someone’s hand…this shows others that you’re someone with heart and conviction.

Smiling! There are never enough smiles to go around! Reminding and letting people know…how great they are…it comes as a great surprise, and is so out of the ordinary, that it gets remembered and it establishes goodwill. ▪ YOU…. must work harder on yourself than you work on anything else. The greatest investment you will ever make is YOU!

  • Work harder on YOU than anything you do.
  • Labor to become a better person; every day you want to be slightly better than you were the day before.
  • Make a difference: Be a positive force in people’s lives. Own your life: The truth is…your life is determined by the sum of the choices that YOU make every day.
  • Make yourself Proud: Set the bar high! Live your life with integrity…. because you have to face yourself in the mirror every day.

All of you deserve to have success, but success is built on what you will allow yourselves to learn from others and how you will grow from all your experiences. You will always have an opportunity to achieve success. Along the way, with all the opportunities around diverse settings and people…take advantage of what you are experiencing and what you are learning. By taking advantage of your surroundings with other people and creating visions from these opportunities…you will always be energized and encouraged to learn something new and try something new, and this will always keep your vision alive. I would like to leave you with a few tips….in hope that it will encourage and motivate THE YOU in YOU!!!!

  • You have Got to Believe in Yourself…. You need to be your biggest fan.
  • You can do it…. whatever it is!
  • Never give up on your dreams.

Spend time with people who inspire you! You are full of potential and have something that no one else can offer. Lastly, picture yourself there! By picturing yourself with the Vision that you have, it will help you to prepare for the end result. If you have the ability, to begin with, the end in mind, you’ll be able to plan the steps it takes to get there. After you graduate, you will be asking some questions yourself…. Like: “What’s next? What does my career look like? What do I want to do…? What do I want to be?” But those questions are ok, and they will be there….what YOU want to try and understand is what impact you want to have in the future when you are 40, 50, and 60…. working back from there, knowing that there are multiple paths to take now…. The path that will give you understanding that as leaders you will need others…. because…. we can’t do it all by ourselves…. So it’s ok if you have different experiences along the way…because what this will do is allow you to nurture external support…the support that always needs to be there…because at the end of the day….It’s those that you lead that Should be looking up to YOU!

But always remember: Never Lose Sight of YOU and Never Lose Sight of Your Vision.


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