One-on-One with TAC’s Incoming 20-21 President, Becca Samuel

By Sravani Ravipati

YR students in Teen Advisory Council’s Marketing/Communications Committee (MARCOM) are speaking one-on-one with fellow students and adult volunteers to get to know them better, share their interests with the community and work on their interviewing skills. For this interview Sravani Ravipati spoke with Becca Samuel, TAC vice president and junior at Signature School.

Sravani: What do you like to do in your free time?
Becca: I play the piano a lot. I like to read when I have time, but usually I’m doing homework. This is super nerdy, but sometimes I like to mess with the formulas on the [TAC] records to make it look promising that people are completing their [required volunteer] hours. But yeah, I like to hang out with my friends a lot and get coffee.

Sravani: Do you prefer books or movies, and why?
Becca: Books because they’re always better. There’s more detail and you can create the movie in your head.

Sravani: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Becca: Both? I don’t really sleep. I’m usually working on homework, and I go to bed late. Then I wake up at 6 o’clock every day.

Sravani: What pushed you to get involved with Youth Resources?
Becca: I went to TEENPOWER as a seventh-grader, when I was first old enough, and my brother had also been in high school doing it. Then, he joined Teen Advisory Council (TAC) and used to wake me up every morning. My mom made him, so he would stomp out the door dragging his feet, and it would wake me up super early. And I thought, if this is something that my mom thinks is super valuable, maybe I should check it out. So, I’ve been in TEENPOWER ever since seventh grade, and I’m on TEENPOWER Youth Staff, but TAC has been a little bit later. I love it.

Becca with campers at TEENPOWER, where she serves as a member of the Youth Staff

Sravani: How has TAC helped you grow?
Becca: A lot of ways. It’s kind of hard to pick just a few. I’ve learned who I am as a leader, and just as a person in general. I’m definitely extrinsically motivated. Being accountable for other people really motivates me to be more efficient and just better at what I do. I have grown in keeping my passions where they are and not feeling like I need to do all things. I can be passionate about TAC and TEENPOWER, and maybe a few things at school, but really honing in on what I’m good at so I’m that much better at it. I’m not trying to do too many things, and TAC and YR have definitely shown me that.

Sravani: What new things have you learned from being vice president of TAC?
Becca: How to use Google Sheets is definitely a big one. I didn’t really know how to do the formulas, and then I kind of had to teach myself all of it just to make sure everything was carrying correctly. Sometimes I had to make my own spreadsheets, so that’s been super helpful. And it’s also super helpful with school. I didn’t realize how much I would need data like that as I get into more advanced classes.

I’ve also had to learn the difference, as a leader, between hands-on leading and more facilitation. Because I don’t lead a committee anymore, I kind of just have to go where I’m needed and just appreciate the fact that what I’m doing is still necessary. It’s just not hands-on like I used to be. I’m growing into a different side of me as a leader.

Sravani: What advice would you give to students who are struggling to manage their time with school but want to be more involved in their community?
Becca: I feel like you kind of just have to go for it at first. Throw yourself out there and see what works. Like I said, I’ve just picked what I am good at and really stuck with that. I think once you’ve figured out what you’re good at, you really just have to go all in with that. And obviously don’t let your academics fall, but balance the two. You can’t do too much, but I think you have to get involved and push yourself. Then, once you figure out where you fall in that, just get really good at it. It’s like a life skill. You can just practice it. It’s not an overnight thing, it takes a while, but don’t be afraid. It can turn into the best thing in your life.

Sravani is a junior at Castle High School and a member of the Teen Advisory Council’s MARCOM (Marketing/Communications) Committee. This is Sravani’s third year involved with YR.