My name is Michael Kelly and I am a senior that is matriculated into the bioscience major and chemistry minor here at Farmingdale State College. I am a pre-medical student hoping one day I will become a cardiothoracic surgeon I dream of becoming. I am heavily involved on campus by being a part of an ample amount of clubs and organizations while holding many credible leadership positions some being; Senator for student body at large for Student Government Association (SGA), President of Golden Key International Honor Society, President of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society (Tri-Beta), Rambassador, Orientation Leader and am apart of Campus Activities Board.
Getting involved early can be very rewarding and beneficial for your success. For freshman that are just joining our community you might be hesitant on being active since this is a whole new college experience and a new world to many, but don’t worry I was in your position once before and felt the same way. My advice is to start early even though it might be outside of your comfort zone and intimidating at first but trust me getting started at an early time will help your future and career in the long run. One thing I regret when I joined the Farmingdale community in 2014 was not being so active upon entering the campus and did not begin to do extracurricular activities until my sophomore year. This was because coming out of high school and after taking five AP classes my senior year with a heavy work load I was so focused on my studies. I felt as if I did not have time to be involved and make a commitment to organizations. Time management is a developed skill in life, you need to find out how to balance everything on your plate without it tipping over because if your time is not managed properly it can be a mess and a lot to handle. This campus has a lot to offer and it is up to every student to utilize its resources that it offers. Get involved in clubs, honor societies, or anything your heart desires even if the campus does not offer it or there is a certain club you are looking for that might not be established, then go establish it be heard and be known. By getting involved you will be networking and develop necessary skills that you will continue to use throughout life, not only that, but you will make friends. You will soon come to realize how the Farmingdale community will be your 2nd family and be considered your home away from home.
A leader cannot lead unless he knows where he is going, I tell myself that on a daily basis to remind myself to stay on track. That being said ever since I was a young child I knew where I was going and what I wanted in life. Once the thought entered my mind and I set my mind on it there was no going back or stepping backwards but only moving forwards, most importantly there is no such word or mention of quitting because that is not in my vocabulary. This helped my leadership skills at an early time in my life. I always had the mentality of even if you do not enjoy doing something in life take it as a learning experience and what is critical is that once you start something you must finish it no matter how bad it might be or if you do not want to continue doing it. Even though leadership positions look outstanding on resumes don’t forget if you are going to take on such a prestigious role to back up your work with results. I will not take on a leadership role if I know I cannot handle it and if I do, I will back up my position with my work. Don’t just take it for a line on a resume or that “it looks good” because what is a leader that doesn’t back up their work and produces poor quality results? True leaders create consistent results that stands out due to quality over quantity.
A few years ago, when I was in high school, my high school has a pool. When I was in 10th grade, I was giving the choice of gym class or pool. So, I elected to take the advanced pool class to obtain my lifeguarding/first aid/CPR/AED/WSI (water safety instructor) certifications and took the class once again every year until I graduated. As I advanced in life these tangible goals that I kept reaching kept bringing me one step closer to my dreams and what I wanted to do in life. I knew I wanted to go into the medical field because I discovered my passion at a very young age which is to help others and volunteer my time because life is not a competition or a game to see who will win. I always feel as if I was put on this earth to help others and to be there for anyone in times of need. I further pursued my dream of helping others after watching my school do a program called “shattered dreams” to raise awareness for drunk driving around the time of senior proms. I stood there watching this event unravel beneath my eyes watching Suffolk County Police rush in along with the Lindenhurst Fire Department Rescue Company rush in with the ambulances to save these individuals who were allegedly hurt in this mock scenario. This gave me an adrenaline rush and motivation to follow in these great leaders of society and become the best I can be and push my skills and test myself to the best of my abilities. So, I took an interest in joining my local Fire Department at Lindenhurst, but unfortunately at the time of my inquiry I was underage and could not join and had to wait until I turned 18. When I met the requirements to join I immediately sent in a request and my application was considered and approved and I then became a member of Chemical and Rescue Company. I accepted my roles, duties and commitment not only to my community but also myself. It is amazing how I was once watching this program to now being involved and being included in this wonderful program seeing it from the first responders point of view (and yes, I do have videos of myself participating in this event) At this time, I signed up for the Emergency Medical Technician Basic course at Copiague (which is a neighboring district to my town), I took the New York State test and about 8 months later I passed on site at St John’s university averaging above all my peers. At this same time and not even a month later I signed up for firefighter 1 through Suffolk County Fire Academy which was a 2-week boot camp in the summer (which the class is usually a 3-month course) learning many of the skills for interior and exterior firefighting operations along with rescues and recovery. Immediately upon successful completion of that course and becoming a New York State firefighter, I decided to go for my Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) license through PADI which allows me to do water rescues, diving, swimming and recovery operations for Lindenhurst Fire Department since they only need the requirement of open water certification. I obtained 3 certifications in less than a month working very hard because I knew what I signed up for and what the work will entail.
Now I am currently in the process of bettering my skills and hopefully doing the same just like last year and to take the firefighter 2 boot camp this summer (2017) along with advanced open water to extend my diving capabilities. Not only that but I am also going for my paramedic license and will earn an A.A.S (Associate in Applied Sciences) degree with the successful completion of this program on top of the paramedic certification. So not only will I be a full-time student here at Farmingdale but also, I will be a full-time student at Suffolk County Community College as well for this remarkable program. Everyone might be wondering why am I explaining all of this to you? or why is this important and how does this pertain to you since this is about me. I am sharing to all of you a little of my background to show you how I got to where I am today by exemplifying my passion, my work ethic, my goals and dreams. Never give up on yourself and follow anything you put your mind to in life. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something in life because once they do that, it is just fuel to your ego. They might say that because they are lower then you and do not know what you are more than capable of, only you know yourself and what you are capable of. When someone tells, me I can’t do something in life that just boosts my ego and gives me more motivation to accomplish what they just said I could never achieve to prove them wrong because even though they might not be able to reach that I most definitely can. This is because they are setting their standards and bars low and you must rise above any negativity that is thrown your way. These things I did at an early age is aligning me for my future since everything I do has a purpose no matter how big or how small something might be its all meaningful. Having a mindset early, on what you want to be when you get older will help you get ahead being one step closer of chasing and reaching your dreams. You must work hard for the things in life because they do not come free and is definitely not easy, don’t party for the weekend but party for the future.
If you ever doubt yourself saying things like “does this help me?” or “why am I doing this?” always think it might not seem important to you now but the pieces to the puzzle will start to add up and fall into place as you progress on this journey called life and only then you will see the bigger picture. Once you start to question your moves that is when you are learning, being an active and critical thinker of today’s society will help propel yourself to being one step closer to what you want to accomplish in life. To accomplish goals and tasks it takes time, dedication, and commitment, along with baby steps, not leaps. Why stop and limit yourself when you can push yourself to be the best? Meaning once you obtain your first goal don’t stop but keep going and set that bar higher each time and then go obtain it, set more goals and never give up. In my case once I obtained one of my goals I already have my eyes on the next. For me, since I already gained many of my goals I now have set myself new goals and standards like the ones I mentioned earlier, so my next move (which I hardly reveal my moves to people because this is a skill learned as a leader which is to keep your moves silent, because being silent makes people wonder what you are up to and then once you surprise them they will be bewildered and ask how you did it) is to take the paramedic program and become a paramedic since that is the highest position I can achieve in the pre-hospital setting, so once again why stop at an EMT basic when I can reach the top and become a paramedic? This also applies to me and my main goal of being a cardiothoracic surgeon, yes, I thought at times I wanted to be a physician’s assistant (PA) or a cardiologist because a surgeon will be hard to achieve but why limit myself when I can reach higher and to go the extra mile and be the very best I can be in my field of study. I want to be the gatekeeper of all answers and not seek help, assistance and be under supervision of someone while reporting everything to them. I want to report to myself and only myself and be my own leader. Being a surgeon is the highest in the hospital setting which is why I set my standards and bars high to achieve that position and will do whatever it takes and every last energy from me to acquire that dream. I am now a little more than 2 years at the Lindenhurst Fire Department and I have to say I love everything I do especially being there for others when they need the assistance at any times especially at 3 am in the morning. I enjoy applying my knowledge, and training taking it to the next level and to the best of my abilities. I want to be a leader and help these individuals in a professional manner as a leader of today’s society in my community. A true leader is wise, has character, and is more of a listener. That’s why people say the quiet ones you have to watch out for and its actually true. Leaders are more observant and will not participate in activities that hinder their growth but will surround themselves with other leaders that will help them succeed. I love to mentor individuals to help guide them to being the best leaders they can possibly be.
Taking on any leadership role comes with great responsibility, hard work, and dedication. People that know me know I love to volunteer my time because why do something in life if you don’t enjoy doing it? Don’t be afraid to fail in life because failure is a sign of success, learning and progress, if you are not failing you are not learning and if you are not learning you are not growing. You learn from your mistakes in life and must learn to critique, adjust and modify them to better yourself and to ensure that same mistake is not repeated. This journey does not stop but has multiple destinations and which every path you choose to go down or create will determine how successful you are in life. Even though the climb to the top of the mountain might be challenging the reward will be sweet. You must have a passion for something and be self-motivated to accomplish all your goals and to never give up on them. Why limit yourself? You much step out of your comfort zone and test your abilities and see what you are capable of doing. Many people say, “things come to those who wait” which is true, but things also come faster to those who go out and get it.
I always told my fellow leaders, my success is based on your success and my failures are based on your failures, that being said, coordination, collaboration and communication is key. A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way, because a leader cannot lead unless he knows where he’s going. So, I challenge all of you to be leaders, step out of your comfort zone, and to make a difference. Don’t create more followers but instead create more leaders because you have the key to success. The choice is yours.
If anyone has any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the below social media outlets.
Let’s Stay Connected! I’m on the following;
State University of New York (SUNY) Farmingdale Student
President of Golden Key International Honour Society
President of Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society
Senator of Student Government Association
Rambassador of Farmingdale State College
Orientation Leader of Farmingdale State College
New York State Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT-B)
New York State, Suffolk County Class A Firefighter
PADI Open Water SCUBA Diver (Water Rescue Diver/Swimmer for Rescue and Recovery Operations)