Student Leaders impact community

Senior Meghan Chudasama ran for Virginia DECA Historian last March, and created a poster displaying her DECA experience.

John Martin, copy editor

Senior Meghan Chudasama:

Senior Meghan Chudasama is actively involved with school activities as a Model UN officer and  primarily serves as a student leader within DECA, an association of marketing students.

“I’m the co-president of Chantilly DECA,” Chudasama said. “As co-president, my duties are overseeing the members of the club and delegating duties to other officers. I [also] help lead and drive projects to reach out to organizations in our community.”

She began participating in these activities early in her academic career and soon realized that she enjoyed them and wanted to continue them.

“It started out as something that I was just interested in and then I got really into,” Chudasama said. “In DECA, for example, I started out competing and became passionate about it, so that’s why I decided to continue it.”

Participating in extracurriculars which peak a student’s interest can help to prepare the student for future careers and passions.

“In the past I probably would have been nervous talking to a business leader, but now I’m more comfortable, not only talking to them, but approaching them,” Chudasama said. “It’s taught me that it’s not about just taking over and controlling things; being a leader is more about working alongside others and guiding them.”


Senior Vinh Nguyen:

Senior Vinh Nguyen is heavily involved in the community by serving as the president of National Honor Society and Science Olympiad.

“I really enjoy being engaged and active,” Nguyen said. “I wanted to be involved and take a more active role and be able to help lead and manage clubs and honor societies.”

Science Olympiad has been a longtime passion for Nguyen, as he has participated in the program since Elementary school.

“Some people might think Science Olympiad is intimidating because you’re studying for various science events, but it’s actually fun because you make new friends,” Nguyen said. “Even though you’re learning and [being] tested, it’s interactive and fun.”

Although juggling multiple leadership roles can be difficult, it’s still possible to succeed.

“It’s hard, but just try to manage your time as best as you can,” Nguyen said. “As long as you’re responsible, you’ll be able to manage your time and do your duties effectively.”

He encourages all students to take on leadership roles even if they are initially unsure of their capability in these positions.

“It comes with a lot of responsibility, [but] don’t be concerned because you’ll have a lot of other students to support you,” Nguyen said. “Don’t be afraid to try out and play a role.”


Senior Jennifer Cheung:

Another student leader in Chantilly is senior Jennifer Cheung, who serves as the captain for Policy Debate and the Secretary General for Model UN.

“I always wanted to be a leader, and I looked up to friends that seemed to be so natural at it,” Cheung said. “I was put in a place where there were opportunities, and I figured the worst that can happen is I don’t get it, and it’s still gonna be fine, so I just went for it.”

Her participation as a student leader has helped her gain a new attitude and perspective towards herself and how she functions.

“Leadership is interesting in that you get experiences you can’t get from in a classroom,” Cheung said. “When you become a leader, you learn a lot about how you’re wired [and] your weaknesses and your strengths.”

While some students struggle with getting out of their comfort zone, the experience of being a student leader helps push people to do things that are far outside of their comfort zones.

“One big thing that [being a leader] taught me is [how] to communicate with adults,” Cheung said. “It’s really hard for students to be able to communicate with people [they] don’t know, and when you’re a student leader, you’re put in this situation where communication is key.”