This year is a first for Shadow Mountain High School JAG, and as the first president of the program, Noah Chapman is ready for the excitement of building out the program with his peers. He was initially introduced to JAG by the current coordinator, Elita Irving. For him, the opportunities for networking, getting a headstart on his career goals, and staying involved as a senior were his major motivators for joining.
As a first-year JAG student, senior, and president of his JAG class, he jumped right into the excitement of leading a new program. He hadn’t had previous leadership experience, but after the last few years, he was ready for a fresh start.
“My freshman year I wasn’t really doing anything, and then sophomore year, COVID hit,” he said. “Then in my junior year, I was still kinda recovering from COVID. Now it’s my senior year, the first year of JAG, and I’m trying to get a fresh start and have everything renewed—get all A’s and just be ready for adulthood.”
After jumping into his leadership role with JAG, one of his first chances to grow as a leader was presented to him through LEADS. Since he was engaged in JAG and enjoying the journey so far, he applied to the LEADS program to enhance his experience even more.
“I had a job at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, and I liked getting paid, but I wanted to put my time where I was actually doing something productive, while also helping other people. This seemed like something I could do while still a student, and I could gain more experience working with people.”
Now that he is a LEADS and has assumed the parliamentarian role for the program, he is looking forward to the National Student Leadership Academy conference in D.C. and all the community service events that he will be engaging in throughout the year.
LEADS represent their statewide JAG peers on a national level at Jobs for America’s Graduates leadership conferences and amplify the voices of their JAG peers in Arizona through local community service projects, conferences, and events. Some of the community service projects they have coming up include a Holiday Toy Drive, March of Dimes, and fundraising for Habitat for Humanity.
Since joining LEADS, he has practiced his public speaking and facilitation skills at the Student Leadership Development Conference where he spoke on stage and also led icebreakers in front of more than 200 fellow students. Throughout these new experiences, he took inspiration from his coordinator’s positive attitude and approach to leadership.
“Ms. Irving’s energy, I love that she is relentlessly herself no matter what and in any situation. She brings so much passion and energy even when the whole class is tired on a Monday. She really just inspires! It’s something to reach for, to always have that positive attitude, no matter what.”
Chapman aspires to pursue training to become a lineman after he graduates and eventually move to Oregon or Washington. In choosing this career path, he found that it was true to his passions and interests, and due to its stability and pay, he would be able to save up to start his own business in the future.
“I have always loved exerting myself, and I love electricity and nature. It all seemed to come together. I’m also a big fan of heights, which I know people are terrified of. I also built my first computer when I was 11, and I have always loved the hardware aspect of putting things together. It’s a long line through my family of them liking electricity, so it must be in my genes.”
As he finishes out his final year in high school and enjoys the milestones of his JAG and LEADS journey ahead, he carries this piece of wisdom along with him, “If you are able to find your passion, something you want to do, you have to never give up. No matter what, you got to chase that, or else you’ll fall behind.”
Learn more about our other 2022-2023 LEADS here.
Support our LEADS trip to JAG National Student Leadership Academy conference in D.C. by donating HERE.