Desiree Roby

How did you earn The Congressional Award?

Participating in The Congressional Award challenged me to step out of my comfort zone on every front. It taught me to not shy away from unfamiliar things but rather to pursue them so my knowledge and understanding can expand.

VPS: I learned the importance of selflessness and giving back to my community. I did this by tutoring K-5th grade students at my local YMCA Childcare Center. It was a thrill to see students’ faces when they understood a concept that we had been working on for weeks.

PD: I challenged myself to understand the stock market. I had seen a stock chart with all of its green and red symbols and lines, but never knew what anything represented. It was a daunting process at first, but by the end of the journey, I knew what almost every band and candle meant.

PF: I had to overcome mental and physical hurdles to battle my way back to playing soccer. My journey started out well and then I suffered an injury that sidelined me for a year. Knowing what I had set as my Congressional Award goal helped me to persevere and return to play.

EXP: I learned how to be resourceful and I also had the opportunity to learn about several sovereign nations within the U.S. I traveled a path on the Trail of Tears towards Oklahoma and stopped at crucial parts of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), and Chickasaw tribes’ journey. I became immersed in the cultures through the languages, the food (especially fry bread), and art.

What are your current ambitions?

My current goals are to attend college and earn a degree in computer engineering and then continue my education by pursuing my MBA. In college, I also want to learn to speak at least one to two foreign languages fluently, study abroad, and continue to play soccer. After college, I would love to have a job that allows me to travel.

Where do you find your motivation?

Two things that are key components of who I am are giving total effort and having perseverance. Jim Elliot and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s quotes summarize these ideas. One of my favorite Jim Elliot quotes is, “Wherever you are, be all there.” In other words, give my all in whatever I set my mind to. This can speak to how we can all seek to lead and serve. While that does not mean that everything happens smoothly, Dr. King wisely stated, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” This means that no matter what obstacle we encounter, to press on and continue to be a servant leader.

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