Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Giving Back to a Community that Gave Me so Much

Name: Alexandra Tutwiler
From: Gambrills, MD
Grade: 11th
School: Arundel Senior High School
Votes: 0

            Since I was five years old, my love and passion for cheerleading has been discovered. I started cheerleading for a recreational organization in my community called GORC. I continued to cheer for GORC until I became too old, that’s when I choose to cheer for my school, Arundel Senior High. My freshman year was the first year I volunteered to help coach. Immediately I fell in love and I’ve been coaching every season since. Coaching cheerleading allows me to give back to this community that helped me find myself at a very young age. Through coaching, I have been able to shine light on my strengths and find who I really am. This experience has helped me define myself and is one I will never forget.

             I’ve always been told to take pride in what you do, and when you find something that you’re proud of never let it go. Coaching has allowed me to do just that. Watching my girls grow and develop individually makes me so proud. It’s always great to see their
excitement when we succeed at competitions but it’s also reassuring to watch how they react even when we may not do our very best. At a young age it’s important to teach these girls to show great sportsmanship. Seeing them clap for other teams when they succeed
makes me so proud to say that I’m their coach. Watching my girls develop into better cheerleaders is great but I believe it’s most
important to see them become better people. Knowing that I helped shape these cheerleaders into respectful, amazing little people is a
feeling I can’t describe.

            Having twenty plus cheerleaders looking up to you both physically and intellectually creates a great amount of leadership and integrity on my behalf. I’m able to reveal my strengths such as leadership roles, caring for others, and kindness. No matter how tired I am when I arrive to practice seeing my cheerleaders can make my whole day. I love knowing that everyday it’s my job to inspire these girls, to show them what it’s like to preserver and never give up. As Coach Lexie it’s my responsibility to help them find who they really are and find their strengths and weaknesses. Possessing leadership roles has always been one of my strengths and coaching cheerleading has helped me figure that out about myself.

            One of my biggest accomplishments from coaching cheerleading was taking two teams the U.S. finals in Virginia Beach. Last year, the team that I coached in the fall won a full paid bid to attend this competition. We were ecstatic but knew there was a lot of work that had to be done before U.S. finals. Then, in the winter season I coached a different team in the organization and they won a first place bid to the U.S. finals. That’s when I realized I would be taking not only one but two teams to the biggest recreational cheerleading competition in the U.S. Both teams did an amazing job and allowed me realize that the main reason I love coaching is my cheerleaders. They continue to make me so proud and grateful to say that I’m their coach.

             Volunteering for GORC has shaped me into the young adult that I am today. Although I was teaching these young athletes, I felt as though they ended up teaching me. I learned so many important life lessons and developed both as a coach and a person. They’ve taught me what it feels like to be proud. “Coach Lexie” is a title I’ve been given, and I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if I was never given this opportunity. I encourage you to reach out and do something incredible for a community that has provided you with life changing experiences, it’s never too late to give back.

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