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Norvens: When I first came here I was a very shy person. I didn’t know nobody except for Meshac, Venise, Allana, James and Brandon. To make it worse we had to sit next to people from different towns. So, I didn’t participate in anything, but when I left, I was hyper. But, Meshac pulled me aside and explained to me that the kids in LEAP are very cool and respectful. So, I listened to what Meshac said and I started having confidence to talk to people. So, I improved on my speaking my mind and talking to people I don’t know. So, now whoever I don’t know, I make sure they know me by saying hi, and now I am. So, now LEAP helped me come out of my shell, and go out and introduce myself.
Abby: The confidence I have obtained through LEAP is the confidence to speak out and believe that what I have to say is meaningful. This coincides with school, being able to speak up to teachers. Also, talking to adults, I know that what I have to say is equally important. More so, I have gained the confidence to talk, connect, and collaborate with others that I do not know. This quality is of great help to me because connecting with others is the cornerstone of all successful partnerships and goals. Both these types of confidences are extremely useful to me, both in and out of LEAP. In school, I am able to connect with others that I would have never have connected with before, opening my mind to the ideas of others and all they have to offer. I no longer am reluctant to open up and speak with those that intimidate me, like adults, or those that may seem “uninteresting.” I have learned that each person has something special to add, it just may take a while to get their ideas out. Acting confident can spread to others, allowing them to feel comfortable and share their ideas with you.
Holly: LEAP has given me the most unique opportunity to fully follow through with my vision and lead a group of fellow peers. From September, I have gained the confidence I have never had when standing in front of a group and advancing ourselves to achieve our communal goal. Before, I had confidence and passion but never fully showed it. Now I am confident to be assertive. My confidence is used with my family and knowing that I have done my own part, something no one else has done.
John: Before I came to LEAP, I didn’t always speak out for what I believe in. I always think about what is right, wrong, but I usually didn’t act. Now, I always speak out for what I believe in. In school, I always speak out. My thoughts always stick in my head and now I usually express them, not only in school, but on Facebook. If someone says something controversial, I call them out for it. I am now more verbal and talk about what I feel.
Madeline: I think that my confidence is from who I surround myself. I feel that if you are surrounded by people with confidence, so with friends that are confident, I can inherit that confidence. It comes through everywhere like my writing, in classes and in the way I talk with all people. It has changed through the years by learning new experiences because I learn why you need confidence, because it allows for a better life because you can do the things you have always wanted to do or achieve.
Anonymous: My confidence has definitely been changed by LEAP. LEAP has taught me to take my self-confidence to the next level. It has taught me to take my insecurities and turn them into ways to motivate myself. It has made me realize I had insecurities that were not valid.
Hayley: LEAP has given me the confidence that I didn’t have before. It has helped me to be able to talk around people who I may not have usually had prior to joining LEAP. I am able to use this confidence outside of LEAP when I am in class, or with people I do not know, or don’t know very well. It allows me to talk about what I feel is important and that I should say.
Will: 1. I have gained confidence in my speaking abilities. I also have gained the ability to look outside my comfort zone in a way greater than I had before.
2. Outside of LEAP, I have become better at speaking to others in public settings and at making decisions that may go against what others think.
Emily: The confidence that I came to LEAP with has strengthened a whole lot throughout the year because of my experience with LEAP. Especially hearing other people’s stories has really made me feel that I can offer advice, and when they appreciate that advice I feel so much more confident in my own opinions. In school classes I have been more open and confident in what I have to say. Doing the Wednesday LEAP class and leading a group of peers and having them listen to me gives me practice in a way to be comfortable speaking in front of larger groups. Overall LEAP has especially boosted my confidence in terms of speaking in front of large groups and expressing my opinions/points of view.