We Got Next: Kristen Confroy
Posted on 09 June 2017
This June YXU has launched our "We Got Next" campaign, highlighting more than 20 young leaders from across the country who are applying their passions to make an impact in their communities. Follow along with YXU on Facebook, @yxulife on Twitter and Instagram and grab your We Got Next tee benefiting the Lebron James Family Foundation.
The majority of my childhood was spent playing sports. With two older brothers and a family who loved playing games, I quickly learned that not only did I enjoy sports but as a result of playing so often I was pretty good at them too. I played basketball, softball, and soccer competitively for most of my life. Thus, on the several teams I played on, I was unknowingly in a leadership role solely because I was talented. For many of these years I lead solely by example through a strong work ethic. I was very quiet and didn’t like to speak to many people. It wasn't until the summer after my freshman year at Maryland that I became equipped with the tools to intentionally lead a team. That summer, some of my greatest mentors, my coaches at Maryland, encouraged me to attend a camp known as Point Guard College (PGC).This week long camp is designed for players to develop more of an understanding of the coaching side of basketball and with that many leadership tools. One of the many notable takeaways of this camp was the idea that there are two reasons that people don't communicate; they are too shy or too cool. To me, willingness and ability to communicate are the staples of good leadership. Even though I am very shy, which is why I always lead by example, I learned the importance of working towards something greater than myself. I recognized that in order to be the best team, I needed to get outside of my "box" and serve as a vocal leader on our team and then within our community. Unfortunately, I think too many young people fall into the "too cool" category and miss out on such incredible opportunities to make a difference in our communities. To be leader requires confidence in oneself and with the pressures of fitting in many people don’t want to risk being different. Since recognizing the need for change in my own life, I have found that the impact that we as young leaders can have is priceless. Not only does serving those around us benefit others but it also provides the chance for us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. The chance to make a real difference.
In our world today, we don’t see too many young leaders within communities. While it is sad to see, those who step up find themselves with even more of an ability to make a difference and cause change. Since I have stepped into the world of leadership I have found that adults want our input and those who are willing to give it often can make a bigger difference then could have been imagined. So to all young people that find themselves with the opportunity to lead, I say take it on with the upmost confidence and be the difference you want to see in the world because you can... and you should.