Tarena Lofton’s Essay

Tarena Lofton

Leaving a Legacy

By: Tarena S. M. Lofton


“What would we accomplish if we knew we could not fail” -Eleanore Roosevelt. This quote amplifies the worlds’ fear to fail and how it holds us back from truly living up to our full potential. Throughout my life I have always been thought that failing is not something to be afraid of; it’s something to embrace, to learn from.  Because of this advice, I have been able to excel in multiple parts of life; in academics, leadership, and community service.

Academics have, and always will be, one of the most important parts of my life; I have understood from an early age that without an education it is nearly impossible to succeed in life. Challenging myself from an early age, I not only take advanced classes but go above and beyond to make sure that I excel in them. My academic success has been proven with my multiple academic awards and having the honor of being inducted into both National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society. I take pride in my school work and I will not accept failure.

Community service has always been a huge part of my life. I believe that it is important to give back because you never know when you will be in a situation where you will need help. Also I love the feeling that I made a true impact on someone’s life.  My favorite community service project that I have participated took place in Portugal while I was on vacation. I had the privilege to help renovate and furnish a children’s orphanage. It was truly a blessing to be able to make a true difference in their lives and to see their faces as they entered the orphanage.

Leadership, in my opinion, is not something that you have to be born with; it can be developed and anyone is capable of being a leader. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to participate in multiple leadership roles throughout my life. Through these opportunities- student council, student government, cheer, leadership retreats, debutante, national honor society, class officer, etc. – I have grown and become a stronger and more effective leader. Being a leader has made me more aware of my actions and how they it affects other people; I always try to set a good example for others because it only takes one person to make a true difference.

Legacy, to me, is what you leave behind when you are no longer present. I would like to leave a long-lasting positive legacy. When my name is mentioned, I want to be known for my strong leadership, academic success, and philanthropy.  I want my positive accomplishments to out-shine my mistakes. Lastly, I want to be known for learning from my mistakes, not letting my mistakes define me or distract me from my ultimate goal, success.