By YM/SSgt Abbigail Waters Mountain View (CO) This July, through the help of the Young Marines Alumni Association’s Michael B. Kessler SPACES scholarship, I had the opportunity to attend the National Se- nior Leadership School in Oregon. This school was such an amazing opportunity for me. It’s hard to shorten down the ex- perience into the highlights, when the whole trip was a highlight. One thing that I will take away from my experience is the people that I met, coming from all over the country you get to form solid friendships with Young Marines who you will not only never forget, but wouldn’t have had the chance to meet without going to National events. National Leadership Schools are chal- lenging both mentally and physically, testing and challenging you to do your best even when you are physically tired and at times, mentally exhausted. I have to say, the National Leadership Schools I have attended have been some of the best weeks of my life. Going back to back years to first Junior Leadership School, and now Senior Leadership School, it’s given me so much motivation to keep pushing forward to better myself. One of my favorite things was the Physical Fitness Training, there was so much motivation and encouragement. I love being able to push myself and oth- ers to work toward a PFT high. While at SLS, I got my fastest mile time ever… and it felt so good. It’s not all work and no play either, a memory I will carry is the chow ditties. It was a time to build com- radery, be creative (and a bit silly), and have some fun with my fellow Young Marines (even if my platoon ended up eating last most of the time!). Some other highlights were the obsta- cle course,land navigation,and the moto run to the beach. I want to encourage every Young Marine out there to attend these leadership schools, there is some- thing about being away from home and your unit that helps to grow you in ways that you won’t expect and push you to the next level.I am thankful for receiving one of the SPACES scholarships, which afforded me the opportunity to attend Senior Leadership School. I came back to Colorado with a new hunger to improve myself as a Young Marine, and am looking forward to at- tending Advanced Leadership School in the future. My eyes remain on my future, and joining the United States Marine Corps after high school, and I know with these opportunities to grow my lead- ership that I am on the right and good path. Semper Fidelis! A Motivating Place to Grow and Push Forward to Next Level By YM/Cpl Bryce Canales Ashtabula County (OH) I was the recipient of the SPACES schol- arship for Sailing. However, I was not able to attend, so my scholarship was transferred to the National Junior Lead- ership School (JLS). I had loads of fun. Waking up early at JLS was unexpected, but I soon got used to it. At JLS we had PT, PFT’s, and Drill, as we do at my Young Marines unit in Ohio. We all did a moto run all the way to the beach and back and it was great! I made lots of new friends from every- where in the US. It also turns out that my bunk was the “chill corner”. As the week went by I realized that rather than stay at home all the time,you need to get out go places and just have fun and the best way to have fun is with other motivated Young Marines. I could not have gone to this national Young Marines event without the Young Marines Alumni Association SPACES Scholarship, so I thank Edgar Huff and everyone else at Young Marines Na- tional Headquarters, and those in my unit, the Ashtabula County (OH) Young Marines. Ohio YM Corporal: Meeting Friends From Everywhere in U.S. By YM/Sgt Hanna Sauberan Ashtabula County (OH) In July, I attended the National Se- nior Leadership School in Oregon. Approximately 100 Senior Leaders came to learn how to lead and better their units. It was a great experience to show how much you can accom- plish; it wasn’t all focused on leader- ship. Yes, there were many classes. The first couple of days were all about classes, in fact. All of them were meant to show you one thing: each leader has their own style. That’s one of the most important things they stress. Ev- erybody’s style is different. If every leader was the same, then we would never have any new ideas. Besides all the classes, there were events that built our team- work, confidence, and willingness to face our fears.This school isn’t just about leadership.It’s about overcoming obstacles that you might encounter on your path to success. Motivation was the key to pushing ourselves. Without support, people can’t get through hardships. At the end of the week, you can see how everybody has changed. Personally, I have learned how to be more outgo- ing and con- fident. I have made life- long friends during this school. With- out the Young Marines, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I’m so thankful for all the experiences I have had. I’ll carry the lessons I’ve learned with me throughout my lifetime. A Time and Place to Learn How to Succeed and Be a Leader YOUNG MARINES ESPRIT Online 19