To Serve as a Leader

To+Serve+as+a+Leader

Ricardo Jaramillo , 2017 Alumnus

At school, there were times when I didn´t feel like I had a bright future, a future where I felt fulfilled. I didn´t have much to look forward to, I couldn´t find my purpose, and you know what? That is okay. 

I remember I was at school once. It was Friday at 2:50 pm, and I was struggling to concentrate on some Geometry problem Carlos Mejía was explaining on the board. I knew Mr. Arbabi was calling us to announce the personero electoral results. “Ricky, congratulations! You won,” he told me in the principal´s office alongside my fellow opponents. That moment changed my life, and although excitement ran through my veins for a few minutes, a feeling of responsibility followed, and it started to feel real. What started as a simple exercise turned out to be the road towards discovering myself.

It was only then when I started asking: What am I passionate about? What moves me? What´s the action that – while doing it – makes everything else easy? At first, I had no clue, and even today answers could shift. However, the essential issue remains. Being aware enough to take the time to ask these questions in a process that has no right or wrong answers is what matters. It is the process that makes it valuable. After struggling, I´ve found a personal purpose to serve as a leader. It´s broad, and it could change, but I like to understand it as undergoing everlasting construction, as a mean, not an end.

Personally, to serve as The Columbus School personero was my way to find myself. Today, I currently study Business at EAFIT, and as a student representative and board member in the university´s Directive Council, we persuaded the directives and the rest of the board members to approve an important budget in which we´ve awarded 483 scholarships to students struggling with financial hardships caused by de COVID-19 global pandemic. This is just one example of how my classmates, friends, and school, helped me find and mold my purpose, develop awareness, and make a positive impact.

I don´t pretend to lecture anyone on what´s good or bad, what´s the right path to take, or what´s the appropriate purpose to find. That´s entirely personal. My invitation is to encourage yourself to think beyond everyone´s expectations, to follow the path you believe is right, to develop critical thinking, to be thoughtful and empathic, to make an impact, to remember values, and above all, to ask questions. 

Being a Columbus School student and alumni is a privilege, and I like to think that because we have an advantaged position, we have a massive debt with our society. Now, regardless of the role you play, how are you planning to pay it?

Thanks to Salomé Beyer and The Discoverer team for giving me the honor to contribute to this valuable initiative.