Kaela R. Gallagher essay

In seventh grade, at the age of 13, I had an experience that has changed my life forever. As Vice President of the Student Council, I was unhappy that the organization that represents the student body was doing little to nothing for the students and the community they resided in. I proposed that the Student Council host a 5k charity run, an event that would bring together the school, the church, and the surrounding community. The moderator immediately shut down my idea, claiming that it was too difficult to achieve. I refuse to take no as an answer, so I took it to the principal, the school board, the City Law Enforcement Committee, the police and fire departments, and the City Council. The event was finally approved and the event preparation began. Not only did we have to recruit runners and volunteers, but we also had to find sponsors to be on the t-shirt and donate items for the raffle. Every registered runner received a raffle ticket in their packet. This was a huge benefit for the race as some people registered just to be entered in the raffle.

Finally, after more than 6 months of hard work, the day of the event was upon us. After the race commenced, the raffle began. Even after running more than 3 miles, people were so excited to participate! I was beyond honored to call each number as my fellow Student Council members handed out the prizes. After receiving their prizes, the runners would hug their family members, Instagram pictures of what they won, etc. It was the perfect way to close a successful event.

The annual Titan Trot 5k continued for three years, until the military restationed my family to Germany. The Titan Trot 5k raised over $24,000 and included around 600 participants. The raffle never failed to be the highlight of the event, each year amassing more donors and participants as well as even better prizes.

I learned many valuable lessons in founding this event. First, I learned how to argue a point and submit formal proposals. As a seventh grader, I attended school board meetings, city council meetings, and even personal meetings with the principal. Although I was consistently the shortest person in the room, I was never short of determination. Secondly, I learned how to build a team and effective communication among its members. Not all of the Student Council members originally supported the idea, but by the end of the process, everyone willingly accomplished any task presented to them. Most importantly, I learned no one could ever get in the way of my dreams. If you are truly passionate about what you are pursuing, no one can stand in your way.

The most rewarding part of the entire experience was watching how all of my hard work positively affected my community. The funds were donated to the Church, the school, towards new playground equipment, and towards the D.A.R.E. program which educates children about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. The event still continues to have an effect in the community daily.


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