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Bio: Anastasia Pyrinis is a junior at the University of California, Berkeley triple majoring in Political Science, Economics, and Media Studies. As a former intern for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Anastasia hopes to take the skills and knowledge she has learned through these experiences to better serve her community. Some of her accomplishments include serving leadership roles as Secretary General in UC Berkeley’s Model United Nations and founding the American Enterprise Institute Executive Council at Berkeley. She has participated in notable, non-profit work to include chairing a “K9s for Warrior” event in Southern California in partnership with Rotary International.
Anastasia’s journey at the Ronald Reagan Foundation began in fifth grade during a class field trip to the Discovery Center. She had been selected by her teacher to play the part of President Reagan and make executive decisions based on real, historical events. It was from this experience that she knew she had found her calling: to serve her community by one day running for public office.
Several years later, Anastasia returned to the Foundation, taking advantage of the education programs for high school and university students. While in high school, Anastasia attended the Student Leadership Program and that same year was awarded the Ronald Reagan Student Leader Award for excellence in leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship. As a high school senior, Anastasia was named a GE-Reagan Foundation Scholar and awarded a $40,000 scholarship. Most recently, Anastasia was a RRPFI Education intern in the Annenberg Presidential Learning Center and in the summer of 2017, she joined the Leadership in the American Presidency program, spending a semester in Washington D.C. while continuing on her leadership growth and journey.
Anastasia holds the honor of being one of the first students to participate in every education program offered by the Foundation. When asked how the Reagan Foundation has impacted her life, Anastasia replied:
My experiences at the Reagan Foundation have allowed me to pursue public policy and public service opportunities in places I would never have otherwise thought to explore. It has provided me with the tools and foundation to be a successful leader and has inspired me to dream big. But beyond that, the Reagan Foundation and its programs have connected me with individuals from all walks of life: people with differing life experiences and goals, people who I know will make a difference in the world. At the end of the day, it is all these people who inspire me to work harder, to reach higher, and to commit myself to a life in public service.
If you could say one word defines leadership what would it be?
Inspiring – Inspiring is the one word I would select that truly defines leadership since all leaders must possess this quality. Nothing in this world can be accomplished alone and it is only when a person possesses the ability to inspire others – to rally, to motivate, to truly give hope – that he or she can lead others towards a brighter and better tomorrow.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Never underestimate the power of listening. To be a great leader, one must be able to speak eloquently – one must be able to persuade, inspire, and rally – but beyond just that, being a good leader is about listening. One has to be able to listen to those around them, hear their ideas, concerns, values, and beliefs – because as a leader, you are not just representing yourself, but rather representing the people around you. Therefore, you must consider their own thoughts and even place them beyond their own, a task that cannot be accomplished without the ability to listen.
If you could do it all over again, would you change anything? If not why, and if so, what would you change?
If I could do it all over again, I would not change a thing. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, no matter how good or how bad. I have greatly enjoyed all the good and have learned a great deal from all my missteps – they have been humbling, illuminating, and sometimes the greatest gifts I could have ever received. They say that hindsight is 20/20 but that saying relies upon the supposition that each one of us takes the time to reflect upon our own mistakes and as a causality of that reflection, learn from those mistakes. So, in that respect, if I had to do it all over again, I would not change a thing.
Salty or sweet? Star Wars or Star Trek? Apple or Samsung? Chocolate or Vanilla? Cat or dog? Coffee or tea? Movies or books? No TV or no music? No phone or no social media?
Sweet; Star Trek; Samsung; Vanilla; Dog; Tea; Movies; No Music; No social media