Youth Voices: The Challenge of Being a Quiet Leader

Above: Cindy Aispuro, right, talks to local reporter Mauricio Peña about reporting in the eastern Coachella Valley during a Coachella Uninc. media training on Saturday, November 7, 2015 in Mecca, Calif. (Image: Coachella Unincorporated)

By: Cindy Aispuro

Ever since I was a little kid I have been a very quiet and shy person. I was not the type of girl who could walk up to someone and strike up a conversation no matter how much I might have wanted to. Most of the friends I made were children who were kind enough to walk up to me and ask me to play with them in the playground and even then I didn’t engage in their conversations.

When I was younger, I rarely went over to friends’ houses, partially because my parents are very protective, but also because I always had something to do at home. However, when I would go back to school, I would hear my friends talking about hanging out at the park or at one of their houses and I couldn’t help but feel left out. This only caused me to become more quiet and isolate myself even more.

Once I got to high school, I was confronted with the reality of having to speak and participate in class. I was not used to speaking up in class, and even though my friends would say I did well when I spoke up, I couldn’t help but feel like I was shaking when I spoke in front of large groups of people.

I have always wanted to be able to talk in front of people without fear, and to speak to those I know I need to speak to, and accomplish tasks I want to do, no matter how hard I may think the task is. This is a challenge for me because I am normally a quiet person. Many people may not think it is hard to speak up and be in that leadership role, but for me it is very difficult.

My dad is also a very quiet person. I’ve always looked to him as a role model because we are both so quiet. When I was younger, there was a group of young people that would sit in the hallway of my church. They came with their parents but they were eager to leave as soon as the service was over. One day, my dad walked up to the youth and started having conversations with them about the service. Eventually these youth always wanted to meet with my dad because he would talk to them and listen to their questions. I was so impressed by my dad because even though he was also very quiet like me, he still went out of his way to connect with people, young people he didn’t even know. Seeing my dad do this gave me hope that one day I could also help people even though I am quiet.

Now as a senior in high school, I’ve started to accept that I am a naturally quiet person and that isn’t a bad thing. I still am actively involved in my school and I’m still getting ready to take that next step of going to college. I know I will work hard to succeed and to be a voice for my community even if my voice is softer than others around me.

About the author:

caispuroCindy Aispuro is a senior at Nova Academy in Coachella. She is a hard worker when it comes to school and is a caring person who is always willing to lend a hand to her friends. In her free time, she enjoys drawing and painting, always while listening to music. Cindy joined Coachella Unincorporated last year and is excited to learn more about her community. Cindy hopes to give back to her community through her storytelling.

 

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