What attributes, life experiences, unique perspectives, and/or special talents do you possess that would contribute to the classroom, student body, and/or Air Force Academy?
Throughout my life, I have wanted to contribute to something bigger than myself. Whether the cause is immense or minor, I put forth my best effort to positively contribute to a group that I am a part of. Moreover, I help and support those around me through issues no matter what the circumstances are, and I play to my own strengths to aid others. The aspects that I will use to contribute to the classroom, students, and the Air Force Academy are leadership and a unique perspective.
I can provide my leadership attributes to the Air Force Academy. With my experience as a team captain of the basketball team for four years, I learned how to mold myself into the best possible leader that I could be. I can provide problem-solving skills, because of my experiences of mediating arguments between teammates and creating solutions for the better of the team. I can also become a role model for other students to look up to. I always presented myself to be assertive, honest, and confident to lead by example for my teammates. I also try my best to bring a positive atmosphere into any situation, so that the team can work as a cohesive unit and accomplish goals without stress. I also put it upon myself to recognize everyone’s contributions so that they understand that they are an integral part of the team, which improves morale, thus leading to being able to accomplish the task at hand. For example, one time during the basketball season, my teammate was thought that he was “useless” to the team because he did not score for the whole season, but I reminded him that without his hustle, defense, and communication that we would not have been able to win as many games without him, which made him feel important to the team. With these attributes, I can have a positive effect on the students in the Air Force Academy with these skills in hand
I can also contribute to the Air Force Academy because of my unique perspectives. Because my father was a marine, my family and I would move around very often. I had many unique experiences by living in San Diego, Okinawa, and Virginia. I also had unique experiences from visiting my father’s family in Louisianna, and my mother’s family in mainland Japan. These experiences opened up my perspective of the different walks of life varying across the world. This would help me provide a perspective of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds that may be different from others who did not travel to as many places as I did, to provide an understanding of diversity to others. With these perspectives, I can also relate to others who have experienced the same things such as switching to new schools frequently or experiencing new cultures. This could establish relatability between my classmates and I, which would create a closer bond between us.
During my junior year as the team captain of the basketball team, I faced a dilemma between some of my teammates and the coaching staff. The bench players on my team disliked how the coaching staff showed favoritism towards the starters and did not play the rest of the team as much. I noticed this issue when I was talking to my teammates during lunch when one of them brought up how the coaching staff disregarded the bench players. I observed the widening gap between the players and the coaches expanding, as the players perceived the coaches as being in opposition towards them.
I knew that I needed to seek a solution to this issue as the team captain because we would not be able to be a cohesive team if there were disagreements between the players and the coaches. I stayed unbiased on this issue, I tried to observe the problem from the perspective of the bench players and the coaches, and think of solutions that I could propose to them. So, to resolve this, I planned to have a talk with the coaches after practice about the issue. The solution that I thought of, was to introduce a set offense that would compliment the bench players and the starters. The offensive set that our team would run was a “four out-one in” set which only complimented the starters. So, I thought that I could introduce a “five-out” set that would complement the bench players along with the starters since it was a better fit for everyone on the team. It would also make sure that the starters would not be as tired from playing for most of the game. I first introduced the plan to my teammates during lunch, and they agreed to the idea.
Later during the day after practiced, I informed them about the discontent that the bench players had with them, then I introduced the new idea. They agreed that they would try and implement the offensive set next game to see how it goes. The plan ended up working, for the rest of the season, the bench players received more time during games to prove themselves as capable players to the coaches.
The outcome of the solution helped me learn that a complex issue could be solved with a rational solution that benefits both sides of the spectrum. I have never experienced dealing with an issue with a large group of people until that moment. I learned that I can too, be a capable mediator that can create solutions to a significant issue. Through the process, I learned to be assertive and unbiased, and to see from the perspective of every person included in the issue, and see what benefits everyone the most. I know now, that if an issue like this occurs again, as a leader, I should evaluate the situation first, then rationalize a resolution that will keep everyone on the same page so that we can accomplish our goals.