Leadership is not a position, it’s a choice. Every day you have opportunities to be a leader. The essence of leadership is inspiring people to move in a direction they may otherwise not have gone, to accomplish more than they may otherwise have sought to accomplish, and to grow into someone they may otherwise not have become.

By choosing the path of integrity, personal responsibility and courage, you will automatically shine your light so brightly that it will reveal to others the majesty of their own. Ultimately, only by living with courage yourself and being the leader you are capable of being, will humanity, as a collective, find it’s courage and lead the world into a future filled with possibility.

My name is Elverouscha Block and I am currently in Grade 12 at the German School in Pretoria. I was invited by one of my friends to attend a camp that happens 2-3 times a year, called Bridges Camp. When looking at myself back in 2015 when I started out as a participant at Bridges Camp, I was super shy. One can say that I had no voice and I kept to my friends only. But, I participated in the games and activities and also spoke to a few other participants who were like me in a sense.

The camp lasted only for one week. It turned out that when the end of the week reached, the supervisors were choosing a few participants in whom they saw qualities of a leader. I didn’t know at first that the camp had a twist. So, on the last evening I could see some teenagers being called one-by-one by the supervisors. When they came back, they had smiles on their faces. I was so nervous and I already gave up hope because I knew that I did not possess those qualities that they were looking for.

A turning point took came in my life that evening.

I was then the last one of six people to be called by the supervisors. They delivered the good news to me. I was shocked that I had to ask them why they chose me, because many other participants were better than me. They told me that they were aware that I was lacking a few qualities, but they could see potential in me that I never knew I had.

After the camp, I made it my priority to work hard to become a good leader. It was a very tough journey. Since I was considered an “introvert”, there were other forces and obstacles that I had to conquer in order to prove myself to the people around me.

As time went on, I grew from a facilitator to a supervisor in training. I’m currently waiting to become a real supervisor with a lot of responsibility. My mom had taught me that the stones my opponents threw at me should be used as stepping stones.

I took the courage to become a leader that has changed a few people’s lives. That is why I decided to compare myself to a butterfly, because a butterfly can’t see how beautiful it is and the impact that it has on others’ lives. Just the same with me, I could not see how great I was but others could.