Climb Your Mountain and Make Your Impact

2021 CLRI Class Speaker David Mota's Remarks to His Classmates

Today I stand before you a proud member of the CLRI class of 2021. Being chosen class speaker by my peers is something that I do not take lightly. That’s probably why I struggled a ton with what I wanted to say. Sure, I could have talked about how everyone in our class has grit. But of course, we do, you don’t become leaders without some grit, some determination, right?

When I think of a leader, I think of someone who listens, someone who realizes the decisions they make today impact the future. If you sat down in one of our sessions for an hour you could see that’s what made us leaders, we all listened, we all believed that the choices we make today can make an impact on our community and that’s special.

CLRI gives us that opportunity to impact our communities. Each month CLRI presented us with new speakers and with each speaker came a new reason for us to want to move forward. A new reason for us to push for greatness. Each speaker was like a peak of a mountain and we were so eager to climb to the top. So eager to hear their stories and what made them, Them. But what will have the greatest impact is each speaker gave us the courage to go out and do.

My journey here towards leadership and success was not always easy or clear. It was not until I started recognizing opportunities and mountain peaks that brought me where I am today. In the past I made poor choices that affected the path I had to travel to be successful. For example, my lack of drive during high school hindered my ability to attend a competitive four-year university. My poor performance was a wakeup call but luckily, I was fortunate enough to have the greatest second chance at Community College and prove that I can be great.

It was here where I took advantage of the metaphor “be a big fish in a small pond” and started to climb my first mountain peak. My first mountain was simply study hard and show up for class. Once I climbed my first mountain, I started to see a lot more was possible. I could become a medical professional; I could become a student ambassador and I can impact my community. And In these moments I was able to form relationships with people who guided me to where I am today. They saw a leader in someone who was just learning to be himself. They showed me that real leaders make a positive impact in their communities through the importance of philanthropy and that’s what led me here.

My purpose here is to impact the lives of others. Not with my words, but with my actions. People might not remember what I said, but they will remember the way I made them feel and that lasts forever. And so, I’ll continue to strive to make a difference in other’s lives and hopefully become someone’s mountain peak one day.

Congratulations to Each one of you, my classmates, you have your own valleys and mountain peaks to scale. And as you climb you will remember the feelings we shared as participants in the program. And we will use those feelings to be mindful of the choices we make as future leaders, and we will remain connected as members of a network that believes in each other and the impact we can make.