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Matthew Higgins | Age: 19 | Novi, MI

Matthew Higgins | Age: 19 | Novi, MI

Founder, Shamrock Lead

Leadership is... influencing somebody to reach their potential and be on a path that is worthwhile. Leadership is taking action to better the life of another.

Leadership in Life... I owe everything I am today to the Michigan Youth Leadership Conference (MYLead). It has brought an infinite amount of stupendous opportunities and adventures due to the idea of venturing outside one’s comfort zone on a regular basis. In my time as a student at Detroit Catholic Central HS, I took advantage of nearly every opportunity presented to me whether that be during school, cross country and track, marching band, or student council. This attitude and spirit for all things CC (Catholic Central) led me to be the first recipient of the Fr. Richard Raneletti, C.S.B. Award for Outstanding Christian Character. I was presented with this award at my graduation ceremony. This was when I realized that all my service at CC, MYLead, and other various organizations had paid off and many had recognized this. I hope to continue this drive for leadership and influence especially in my time at GVSU, serving on Student Senate and being involved with Campus Ministry.

My leadership philosophy is having the ability to influence and changes one’s life through our actions. This could be as simple as a small kind gesture that brightens someone’s day to giving beneficial advice to lead them in the right direction.

This concept was so near and dear to me that I founded a club at my high school (Shamrock Lead), based upon the three values of leadership: character, service, and mentorship. These values are transformed into action through weekly meetings, monthly service projects, and two mentorship opportunities: a freshmen mentor program and an alumni-student career based internship website. All of these are resources for the student body to use to apply leadership in their own lives. This idea of mentorship in leadership especially rings true to me. Having a role model that you can trust and look up to makes all the difference. The resources created through this club help those beginning and ending high school. At both ends of the spectrum, freshmen have the option to be paired up with an upperclassmen who can be connected to a trusted alumni in an interested career path. In life, it’s truly about who and what a student knows that’ll help him accomplish his goals.

Advice… Do not be afraid to keep an open mind when going through life’s challenges and triumphs. Everyday, we are learning new things, no matter how old or young. There is something to learn from every experience in life.

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