Power of Influence – Kayla

Power of Influence

I grew up with a parent wearing blue. We sat in the back of restaurants so he could scan the room. He often attended my recitals and games late and in uniform, but he always came. My dad has been a police officer for over fifteen years. In the year of 2003, my father set out on his journey to becoming a police officer. From a young age, I have been very close to my father and this separation, at the time, was very hard on me. My mother recounts memories where I would sob on the couch crying for “daddy” to come home. His training was not easy for our young family. After seven months of intense basic training, he came home with his certificate in hand. This is one of the first examples of my father’s strong persuasion in my life and as the years progressed the desire to be more like him remained. I was attached to his hip, and thus, I took on many of his attributes–good and bad. Through his strong influence, I became driven, passionate, and focused, on every aspect of my life. The thought of failure is not an option. The guidance of a strong father figure in my life has shaped my personality and molded me into a “mini-me” of my father. Not only did his example before becoming a public safety officer influence me as a child, his role as an active duty officer continues to supply beneficial life lessons that I can apply to my life today. His guidance in life has shaped many aspects of my life, including my portrayal of society and future career goals.

My father had the opportunity to work at my local High School as a school resource officer several years before I was in attendance. At the school, he was able to interact with the students, become friends with the faculty and enforce the school policy. On many occasions, he would tell my middle school self about some of his crazy adventures at the school. For example, he was investigating mischievous behavior around the school that he believed to be linked to the distribution of drugs around the campus. Within a few days, he had detained one of the primary culprits for the “shenanigans,” as my father called it. In the days following, the student was questioned about his involvement with the drug distribution. This student then disclosed how he chose the students to whom he would sell his product. Upon questioning him, the dealer said he approached his buyers based on how they dressed or acted around the school. He said that the “right buyer” draws a certain crowd to themselves. How you appear or respect others will draw a certain crowd or group of friends. The High School has a strong Mormon base, therefore, he targeted any and all of the individuals that did not fit into the mold created from the religious atmosphere. On many occasions, my father has said, “Bad company corrupts good intentions.” In life, I aspire to draw the right crowd; I want a group of friends and comrades that will encourage me and push me to work towards the higher achievements in life. In every moment, we need to realize that people are always judging our actions or looking up to us to know how to react to situations. This means that we need to be vigilant about how we treat others and how we compose ourselves. In life, we need to strive to be positive examples. In order to be successful, we need to surround ourselves with people that will encourage us. The first step is to conduct ourselves in a manner that signifies our morals and goals. This story given by my father taught me to be vigilant and aware of the example I am portraying.

After seeing how my father helps the community as a Police Sergeant, my interest in helping others through pursuing the medical field was peaked. Once I am accepted into a medical program, I will join the United States Air Force and enter in as an officer with an O-1 rank. This is an opportunity not only to travel the world building my medical repertoire but also to serve my country and community as many have done before me, including my father. As a future first-generation college graduate, I hope to pursue my interest in the medical field as a cardiothoracic surgeon. Woman surgeons are greatly underrepresented, and I want to be the face of change for my career. Due to my father’s position, he is able to have a hands-on interaction with people in society. He sees the community and its individuals at their worst, and yet, he wakes up each morning willing and ready to give himself for the benefit of the people. It is because of his example that I strive to shine with this same positive attitude in the field of medicine. As a surgeon, I can interact with my patients and serve in a similar manner as my father.

My father is an amazing man. He serves the community as a Police Sergeant but has a number of roles that make him a great source of wisdom. It is in moments of reflection that his strong influence in my life is realized. He has shaped how I conduct myself now as an individual and continues to inspire me as I look forward to my dream of becoming a surgeon. Through the journey, I will continue to strive for success and pursue my passions wherever life takes me. I am and will continue to be an influential leader who inspires others to pursue their goals and discover what makes them happy. Decide. Commit. Succeed. These are values that will carry me far on my journey to success. His sacrifice brings me unwavering pride and I am grateful for the sense of integrity he has instilled in me.

Note: names, locations, and other personal information be have been edited for privacy reasons.