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Ximena Morales

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Finalist

Bio

Hi everyone, my name is Ximena Morales! I am a third-year college student pursuing a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. At a young age, I discovered that my purpose in life is to help others. I want to do it through the criminal justice system. I have witnessed and experienced injustices with my family and in my community, therefore I would like to provide better representation for them and their rights/values. My strengths in learning and achieving will help me pursue my dreams and aspirations. As a learner, I feel passionate about gaining knowledge and skills. It motivates me to push outside my boundaries to overcome the challenges of not understanding the subject or performing proficiently in a skill. As an achiever, I feel driven to work hard to meet my goals. It allows me to feel content with my progress and persevere through my failures.

Education

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Criminal Justice and Corrections, General
    • Criminology
  • Minors:
    • Psychology, General

Bryan High School

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Test scores:

    • 24
      ACT
    • 1110
      PSAT

    Career

    • Dream career field:

      Forensic Science

    • Dream career goals:

      Crime Scene Investigator or FBI Agent

    • Member and Guest Services Associate

      Salvation Army Omaha Kroc Center
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Lifeguard

      City of Omaha Parks and Recreation
      2023 – 2023
    • Bounce House Operator

      Diversiones Morros
      2014 – 20206 years

    Sports

    Soccer

    Intramural
    2022 – Present2 years

    Awards

    • Vice President

    Soccer

    Club
    2020 – Present4 years

    Awards

    • Cornhusker Classic Finalist (2020)
    • Presidents Cup Finalist (2020)
    • Bellevue Fall Kick-Off Finalist (2021)
    • NE State Cup Finalist (2021)

    Soccer

    Varsity
    2018 – Present6 years

    Awards

    • Team Captain (2019-PRESENT)
    • 2022 Marty Anderson Player of the Year

    Research

    • Law

      Omaha Bryan High School — For about two weeks, my research based on jeopardized cases, specifically on the Ingraham V. Wright case in 1977. Based on my research, I wrote an essay that summarized the case and explained why I disagreed with the result of the case.
      2018 – 2019
    • Chemistry

      Metropolitan Science and Engineer Fair — For two weeks, I conducted an experience for my middle school fair, which earned me a spot to compete in the Metropolitan Science and Engineering Fair
      2017 – 2018

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Omaha South High School Baseball Team — Student - Tortilla Maker
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      AIM TRIO Upward Bound — Make care packages and blankets for the homeless, and create thank you cards for first responders and veterans
      2020 – 2020

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Next Young Leaders Program Scholarship
    "The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority," Ken Blanchard I have experienced the difference between an influential leader and an authoritarian leader throughout my high school soccer career. Before my freshman high school soccer season, the upperclassmen felt there needed to be a change in our soccer program. They were frustrated as their past seasons included an authoritarian style of coaching. Although the head coach had assured the team in the past that there would be solutions to their demands; it never occured. In the fall of 2019, when I was a sophomore, we took our concerns to the next level. During the first week of school, a few players and I met with the high school athletic director to explain our concerns and advocate for a new head coach. We expressed the emotional and mental damage he caused to the program with his authoritarian style. This included dictating policies and procedures to us while not listening to or acting on our problems, suggestions, or opinions throughout the season. I took on a leadership role as I wrote multiple letters highlighting his player favoritism, which resulted in multiple disputes between players. I felt proud of how we professionally discussed our concerns with the athletic director. I did not realize that I was beginning to build the skills I needed to become an influential leader. A month later, I received the news of the removal of the head coach. Playing a sport that I passionately love with a selfish, unmotivated style of coaching, emotionally drained me. It is a feeling that I never want to go through again; it is something I think of often. Our new head coach, Coach Townsend, positively impacted our soccer program through a more influential leadership style of coaching. He showed us the importance of listening first, collaboration, and gathering feedback. Taking these extra steps prior to making policies or decisions helped us feel like we were a team and a part of the process. This was a new feeling to all of us as we had never felt that before. Throughout my three years as team captain, I learned from my experience with an authoritarian style leader who did not listen, but merely dictated his demands. I remembered the frustration I felt and it helped me avoid those mistakes. Taking on an influential leader role requires communicating with the team and the coaches to express their suggestions, problems, and opinions to each other. I regularly support others on the team, build unity, and support coaches in making difficult decisions. Ken Blanchard’s quote, “The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority,” reflects on my experiences throughout my high school soccer seasons. Coach Townsend showed me that successful leadership does not rely on authority, but the way one builds trust and respect in relationships. Leading with influence prioritizes players becoming successful and not for the coach to win. Leading with influence is not selfish or individualistic, and that is the leader I strive to be.