Read Alexandra’s essay below on her passion for the museum’s mission, creativity, and her views on leadership.
In my eyes, a strong education is the key to success. However, the basis for education begins in childhood, when kids are taught the habits of work ethic and morality. What we learn in childhood is what we carry with us through life, so a poor education is detrimental to success. If children don’t engage with a lesson, they are quick to become bored; this leads to the common theme of children hating school, and thus learning. Without interest in learning, children simply won’t succeed, which can hurt them later in life. However, through Children’s Museum of Richmond’s standard of learning through play, children can engage and find that learning is fun, creating great habits students sustain and thrive in. I have incorporated this mission in my teachings by finding creative solutions to help mentor young cheerleaders. Often they become frustrated when they can’t quite understand a cheer and want to give up. Instead of just insisting they watch me do it and repeat, I establish more engaging activities that are easier to comprehend. For example, if they’re having trouble memorizing the words, I make up a silly song and have them sing it; although they giggle, I find they learn faster with this mnemonic device. I do the same for myself when studying for a big test. I love biology, but it can be disengaging at times. To entertain myself and aid in memorization, I write stories about topics like mitosis, which makes the entire process less challenging.
As John C. Maxwell once said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” Through these words I have found the most success, by leading through example at school for other students, home for my younger brother, and when teaching young children at cheer, CARITAS, and Girl Scouts. Although a leader’s most pivotal job is to lead the way for others, they must also be open to the ideas of all and listen, not allowing their pride to get the best of them. All outstanding leaders have needed to accept the help of those around them; many see needing help as a weakness, but I have found it only makes me stronger. From mentoring young girls, to keeping the cheer team and Latin Club in order, none of what I have accomplished could have been possible without the help those surrounding me. I make it my first priority to sympathize with those I work with and intertwine their ideas with mine. A leader’s first and foremost thought should be on the impact their leadership will have on others, and they should be willing to put all personal matters aside to have a positive impact on those around them. Holding the ability to have a positive impact is why I am passionate about leadership; helping others is what I strive to do every time I walk into a club meeting, cheer lesson, or volunteer project, and it is the reason I think how every action of mine may affect another.
Thanks to a grant from the Mary Anderson Harrison Foundation, the Snow Queen Scholarship of $3,000 is granted in memory of Cameron Gallagher. Cameron grew up visiting the Children’s Museum and Legendary Santa. Her love of children, creative spirit and perseverance will provide an inspirational vision for this year’s Snow Queen. The Snow Queen will serve as a role model for young girls, exemplifying internal beauty and character while reflecting and celebrating the museum’s commitments to inspiring creativity and individuality.