“Fake it till you make it.” is the response my manager gave me when I asked how she overcame her fear of public speaking. I believe public speaking is an important leadership skill I need to work on this summer and because of Rising Sun, I’ve learned to overcome my fear.
The night before the first day of training, I was very worried about being judged because of my accent. English is my second language. I was focusing on the judgments the Energy Specialist would possibly make instead of preparing the lesson I was going to teach the next day. During the delivery of my lesson plans, I constantly stopped just to understand the content I was trying to deliver. Even with the lesson plan in hand, I felt unprepared and began to panic. I repeatedly looked over the lesson plan and I would forget what part of the lesson plan I was teaching. I was distracted, frustrated and embarrassed.

I reached out to my managers, who explained to me that confidence is key to public speaking. My managers told me to build my confidence I must prepare the lesson ahead of time both mentally and physically. From then on, I spent more time reviewing the lesson plans and asked my managers any questions I was unsure of. The more I prepared, the more confident I felt. Working as a Leader in Field Training (LIFT) I had to learn how to get out of my comfort zone, challenging myself which built my confidence.
Working with my managers this summer, I realized that I could be a mentor to the Energy Specialists. There is not just one type of leader. Everyone can have their own leadership style. I aimed to work with them through the ups and down and help them overcome their hardships. I have learned how to delegate tasks when Energy Specialists have downtime. The leadership experience that I have gained will help me apply to my dream school. Being a LIFT is the first step to helping me become the leader I want to be. I used to be very a follower. I often felt like I wasn’t leadership material. This time I want to follow my heart and prove myself wrong. I am not just a follower doing the tasks I am assigned. I can be a leader, and a role model for youth. The impact I make with the Energy Specialists as a leader inspires the youth to become leaders themselves. Most importantly, I help guide the youth in obtaining a green career as an Energy Specialist and I contribute to their passion, motivation, and skills that help to protect the environment.

I was not sure what I would do in the future until I found this job. Now I realize I can have a job that helps conserve the environment. More organizations should aim to fight against climate change like Rising Sun Energy Center. Rising Sun has helped me gain leadership experience that can support me in my future career path. I hope to meet people who share the same passion to fight climate change and build a sustainable environment together.

Written by: Dennis Xue

Serving Antioch, Pittsburg, Bay Point, Oakley, Brentwood communities.