Anna Kryukova, High School Senior/Art Director of Goldstein High School & UNSL Representative
- What do you consider to be the most important characteristics of an exceptional leader?
I believe that an exceptional leader is someone who leads by example, is passionate about what he/she is doing, and takes responsibility for his/her actions. As a student, it is important for me to have leaders who are positive role models whether they are my teachers, fellow students, or the principal. Teachers who challenge students to take advanced courses, offer support, and act as mentors are exceptional leaders because they encourage students to succeed in school and further their careers.
- Tell us about one or two personal or professional experiences that have shaped you as a leader. From an early age, I have been involved in many different school and extracurricular activities. This made me aware of the diversity of interests of people around me and allowed me to keep an open mind. Staying actively involved taught me to balance academics and extracurricular activities, which made me organized and able to give advice to students who were struggling at multi-tasking. As the editor of a newspaper I have to set and meet deadlines as well as keep reporters on track. This role has taught me responsibility. Finally, being part of UNSL taught me to be compassionate and strive to be a positive role model for other students in the network and in my school.
- Who are the leaders in your life and what have you learned from them?
My parents, teachers, and my fellow students are the leaders in my life. My parents have encouraged me to pursue my goals and stay committed. My teachers have encouraged me to take challenging courses and be open to learning. I believe leadership is about sharing knowledge; thus, everyone I learn anything from is a leader.
- What is unique about leading in New York City?
Being a leader in New York City is unique because it is the place with the most opportunities and the most diversity. This means embracing the cultural richness of the city and using that experience to become the most exceptional students and citizens. Being cultured and having diverse experiences is what helps students in New York City to use this knowledge to be innovative problem solvers and creative thinkers. The opportunities in New York City help to enrich the education experience such as gaining valuable real world exposure and work experience.
- Is there anything else you would like to share with us about yourself or leadership?
I believe that leadership is about leading by example, and it starts in schools and communities. When students want to become role models for their peers and encourage others to pursue goals and get involved, that is the true definition of leadership. And when students want to inspire other students to do well, that inspires good citizenship that goes beyond school and continues through life.