Fire Fighter Caleb McNeil - 2023 YLD Award Recipient

February 12, 2024

Video Transcript

Speaker: Caleb McNeil, Firefighter, Castle Rock Fire

1. Introduce yourself including your name, who you work for and title or rank. You can include hometown, marital status, etc.

Caleb McNeil: Hi, my name is Kayla mcneil. I work for the Castle Rock Fire department where I'm a firefighter. Castle Rock is kind of right in between Denver and Colorado Springs. As you drive by 25 right down through the middle of the state. I was raised in New Guinea and Indonesia on the island of New Guinea, which is on the far eastern side of Indonesia where I spent the 1st 17 years of my life. So I consider home to be Cent toy Indonesia. I have, I'm married, I have two beautiful girls aged 12 and nine.

2. Describe what the Yvorra Leadership Development Foundation scholarship will do for you in developing your leadership skills.

Caleb McNeil: I applied for the YLDF scholarship because I'm working on a master's degree from Colorado State University. My master's is in industrial organizational psychology. I'm pursuing this because my belief is that the Fire Department could really use the influence of the best that science and psychology have learned about how people grow and develop and what organizations should do to utilize those things to create good programs, to make sure that people are growing and developing um in the best ways possible. So my goal is to get that information in this master's program and then bring it back to my department and the Global Fire Service. The YLDF scholarship is basically giving me the opportunity to continue to pursue those educational goals and try to achieve uh them.

3. Briefly describe what your definition of leadership is.

Caleb McNeil: Leadership to me is about influencing people to move forward towards something uh to have influence. You mean, it means you have to have people that are either watching or listening to you without some sort of audience which doesn't need to come in the form of a title or something official can come in so many different realms. But there has to be people that are listening to you. You have to go then from there towards having a purpose, moving people towards something. Uh I again, that can look like so many different things, but you gotta have people that you are moving towards a positive direction.

4. Describe your experience in completing the application package.

Caleb McNeil: This is my second year applying for the YLDF scholarship. Uh last year I applied and did not get it. So I've done the process twice now, both times it was the same. I don't believe anything changed from year one to year two. And essentially it starts by filling out a series of, I want to say it was five essays, essays, certainly take some self reflection. I think the while the foundation is looking to make sure that you actually have good reason for why you are asking to receive funds. So those essays should reflect that, that you have a purpose that you have goals, um that they're clear and that they match what the committee is looking for. Uh that takes some time, but the essays aren't meant to be very long. So as long as you're have a little bit of ability to write, I think it's, it's nothing that terribly challenging. And the second important piece then is to really think about who you want, writing your reference letters. I think this is a really important piece of the process. So those people need to reflect the same things that you have chosen to write about, they need to understand what it is that you are trying to accomplish and be able to speak to how you will do that. Uh They like character references, right? So again, not a huge commitment, you're asking someone to just answer a series of questions that are laid out in the packet. So it's not an open ended thing. They're answering very specific questions, but make sure you choose people appropriately that know you well and can speak to how you do reflect the same things that you have written in your essays.

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