Annie Douma’s senior year has been enhanced by leadership

Who ever said you have to be good at something to lead it? 

Certainly not Senior Annie Douma, who started an entire club with her friends but quickly discovered that she had no talent in the field of that club at all.

Annie and a few of her friends—fellow seniors Ian Mahoney, Max Cooper, and Megan Fox—created the Pickleball Club last school year, and since then, Annie has attended every meeting, but she considers herself subpar at the sport.

“I’m actually very bad at pickleball,” Annie said. “Everybody knows it. I think that you don’t have to be amazing at everything you do to have fun. I go to Pickleball Club, and I help make the meetings, and I’m never good, but I have tons of fun with my friends.”

This life lesson is one of many that Annie has learned from her several leadership roles. Not only is she one of the founders of the pickleball club, but she is also a co-captain of the girls’ swim and dive team and a member of the executive board of the National Honors Society.

Being in these positions of leadership has benefitted Annie in countless ways and has shaped her senior year in a way she truly enjoyed.

“I definitely think the leadership responsibilities put you in a place where you need to be a role model for the people you’re leading,” Annie said, “which is something to always have in the back of your head. Also, getting to meet so many new people and be around my friends and just the communities have really added to my senior year.”

Annie loves all three of these leadership roles and the special moments that they have brought her, but some stand out.

In her position as a member of the executive board of the National Honor Society (NHS), she was tasked with putting together volunteer opportunities in the community. This created one extremely special moment that she still treasures.

“I organized the Sunrise of Cascade nursing home visits for the National Honor Society,” Annie said. “[After one visit] we had the daughter of a patient email and say that her mom was so happy and that she cried because she had her nails painted [by our volunteers]. That made my week.”

…getting to meet so many new people and be around my friends and just the communities have really added to my senior year.

— Annie Douma

This moment, when Annie was able to see her hard work come to fruition, solidified for Annie why she enjoys leadership as much as she does. She said that those were some of her favorite memories from her senior year.

But although NHS allowed her to experience this—and other—heartwarming moments, her favorite leadership role is elsewhere.

“My favorite [of the three] would have to be pickleball club,” Annie said. “It’s so chill and everybody that comes makes it have such a good atmosphere. It’s just a fun time with your friends.”

Of course, this is an experience that Annie has encountered many times throughout her high school career—the best moments are always those spent with friends. However, the new experiences that leadership has brought to Annie’s senior year are also very valuable.

She has learned many important life lessons through these roles and expects to continue learning, especially as she enters the next stage of her life at college.

“I feel like leadership normally comes in later years,” Annie said. “At least in my case, it did when I started to take stuff over. I definitely think that at some point in college, I will [be in a position of leadership], but as a freshman, it will be more about getting involved. I’m excited to use what I’ve learned and meet new people next year.”

Overall, Annie’s senior year has been made more enjoyable by the leadership roles she has taken on. 

From learning important life lessons about fun, hard work, and required skills, to hanging out with friends and meeting new people, leadership has had an incredibly positive effect on Annie.

“The leadership that I’ve had this year and the experiences that I’ve had the opportunity to do have really shaped how enjoyable my senior year has been,” Annie said. “They have given me the experience that I need to succeed next year and they’ve allowed me to spend time with all the people that I love spending time with.”