Ask me, ask Juliet, ask Bryan, or ask Audrey: Did we really expect to be where we are today? I don’t mean “where we are today” in terms of the title—not Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, or Editor. If you skim this article and you forget all 445 words that I’ve written on this post (you can count the number of words here for fun, too), at least remember this part: your goal isn’t to achieve a title, label, or name badge. That’s not the point. Your goal, however, is to unveil a set of experiences, abilities, and confidence that drives you to better who you are, and also who others are. Another thing: you hear a lot of these stories about a young freshman popping into a room jam-packed with Key Clubbers for its first meeting. That freshman is all quiet, mute, and soft-spoken. Then, with a quick flash of “ABRACADABRA” and “ALAKAZAM,” along with a four-year time warp, they finally become a senior. That senior is confident, poised, and big-hearted. Sound familiar? You bet. I was one of those many stories, and maybe so were you. But what made me into that? Was it really abracadabra and alakazam? Was it because I knew exactly what I was going to be four years from when I joined? Not at all. It was because of the community I surrounded myself in. Don’t underestimate community. It’s powerful; it’s what shapes your values, your actions, your ideas. The people in this community care, and they’re big go-getters. Slacking isn’t an option, but initiative is. I’m continuously impressed with the hours and hours that individuals put in to drive a project to success, all because they care with a purpose. Maybe that’s what the real alakazam of this organization is. All of my actions and my decisions have stemmed from this care, even ones that didn’t turn out like I expected. I know I did a pretty terrible job during my first few volunteer events in high school, but I cared enough to push further. I now open myself up to each individual I meet in this community and work as much to connect on a personal level, because I value connection. There are good people in this organization. I value what these people value. You care, and I care. And by the way, here’s the direct answer to the question I asked in the beginning: No. No, I did not expect to be where I am today, and the reason for that is because I’ve become so much MORE than I’ve expected. I’ve become so much more, because I’ve seen how this care has bettered others and myself.