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Massachusetts State House Visit

This past Wednesday Massachusetts State Representative Jeff Roy invited me and my family to the State House for an official “send off” of me to Australia! It was quite the day! My family and I got the royal treatment once we arrived to the State House. Jeff and his assistant, Chris, met us in front of the State House at noon where we took a few pictures outside of the building. One of my favorites from the day is Me, Jeff, my mother, father and best friend Pats all holding the “SEND BMAC DOWN UNDER” sign in front of the State House! Check it out!

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Next, Jeff gave us the grand tour of the State House. I felt like royalty! I got to meet everyone we walked by. I was introduced to many different state representatives and other officials in the building. Jeff had informed everyone in the state house about what I’ve been doing with Send BMAC Down Under for the Best Jobs In The World contest. It was really cool to have so many people already know what I have been up to and congratulating me on my accomplishments! I was scheduled to meet the Governor, but sadly he was not in that day. I did, however, have the privilege of being taken out onto the Governor’s balcony where you can see, as Jeff put it “the best view of Boston”

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Not a bad view, huh? (And I’m not just talking about Patrick 😉 ) The house was in session on Wednesday so after this, Jeff took my family and I into the House of Representatives chamber in the state house. Once inside, I continued to meet state officials and spread the word about the Best Jobs In The World contest and my quest for Chief Funster. I was then introduced by the Speaker of the House for all of my accomplishments thus far in making it as a Top 3 finalist for Chief Funster. The chamber was buzzing with conversation and it didn’t appear as though anyone was even really listening, but when the Speaker of the House finished speaking, the chamber erupted in applause! I was overjoyed with excitement. I received a standing ovation from the House of Representatives in the Massachusetts State House! WHOA! I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so largely in my life! When we left the chamber, Jeff told my family and I that it is rare for the house to give a standing ovation. I have never felt so special in my life the way I felt when I was in that room.

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Next on the agenda, Jeff, my family and I had an official photograph taken of us with the citation that Jeff presented to me on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The citation congratulates me and recognizes my achievement of making it as a Top 3 Finalist for Tourism Australia’s Best Jobs In The World contest. Now that’s an official document if I ever saw one!

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It was an incredible experience being at the State House where so much important history has taken place and knowing that I am also making history. There were many rewards from this special day in my life and I’m going to tell you the two biggest ones [in my opinion]. The first happened at the conclusion of the day when my best friend Pats said that joining my family and I and watching me earn this recognition was a huge motivator and inspiration to him. I was so happy that I could serve as an inspiration to him. I’ve always believed that if you can dream it, you can do it, you just have to believe in yourself and not set any limits. You should live life and act as though there are no limits, that is when you will find success. It’s such a rewarding feeling to know that I’ve impacted more lives than just my own with the success I’ve had in becoming Chief Funster thus far.

The second most rewarding feeling was when we were in the car driving out of Boston. I was quiet and smiling at my mother gushing over the day we just had and my accomplishments. She looked at me and said, “Brittany, I don’t think you understand how incredible of an honor you just received…” My mother was surprised at my “lack of excitement”, however it wasn’t that I wasn’t excited, because believe me, I certainly was! For the first time since I found out about the contest in March, I felt satisfied and proud of myself because I have finally seen that all my hard work and sacrifice has paid off. Of course the contest isn’t over yet and I am not giving up, but it was nice to take a quick breath and be proud of myself.

Me with the Franklin Town Council

Me with the Franklin Town Council

The fun of the day wasn’t over yet though, kids! After dinner, my parents and I headed to my hometown’s Town Hall where I was recognized by the Franklin Town Council with a proclamation in congratulations and recognition detailing my success and achievements thus far in the Best Jobs In The World contest for Chief Funster.

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State Representative Jeff Roy standing next to me while Franklin Town Council Chair Robert Vallee read aloud the proclamation they presented to me on behalf of Franklin, Massachusetts

It was a jam packed rewarding day full of fun! As if it was even possible, this day really built up my excitement to head down to Australia for finals week!!! Only 2 more days now until I leave! I have purchased a few necessities ( a converter, bathing suit and a couple new outfits) but now it’s time to get packing! I can’t believe this is really happening and I could not be any more excited! (I know I’ve used the word “excited” a lot in this blog post, but I just can’t contain my excitement!!!!) I am looking forward to spreading the word even further of how fantastic Australia truly is! I wish I had a dime for every person who asked if they could come with me over the course of the day. I should really just transport the entire state of Massachusetts down under! They’re all jealous of my experience and itching to get down there! See you soon, Australia!

Letter of Recommendation from Dr. David Gavin

To Whom It May Concern:

It is with great pleasure that I write a letter of strong recommendation for Brittany MacLeod. I had the pleasure of having Brittany as one of my students and have known her for more than five years.  She is among the most creative and energetic individuals I have ever witnessed. In addition to having Brittany as one of my students, I have maintained an ongoing mentoring relationship with her throughout her time at Marist College. From the first time I met her, Brittany impressed me with her extraordinary courage and strong personality. Additionally, during conversations with me or other students, she is frequently smiling and loves to laugh.

As an officer in the Marist Toastmasters Club, Brittany has excelled in many areas but most importantly in leadership, membership, and club development. As the club’s current president, Brittany has recruited members to fill all of the officer roles, a first for the Marist Club. She also instituted weekly officer meetings to plan and organize the club’s activities. To foster better communications among faculty and students, she created weekly broadcast emails, a Facebook page, and a Twitter page. To broaden the club’s community relations, Brittany promoted two important causes: Heart1, which helps victims of abusive relationships; and freerice.com, which is focused on ending world hunger. She has also reached out to develop ties with other Toastmasters clubs in the area such as the IBM Club and the Hudson Valley Orators Advanced Toastmasters Club.

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To build the club’s membership, Brittany created very attractive posters to display on bulletin boards throughout the Marist campus and flyers to hand out to students. At the beginning of the semester, she mobilized the club’s officers to make short presentations at the beginning of classes. In all, Brittany and her officers made dozens of presentations to students to make them aware of the Marist Toastmasters Club.  Brittany also secured funds to purchase prizes, which she then raffled to those who attended the meetings. This activity generated much enthusiasm among students who attended the meetings as guests. Brittany also secured funding from the Dean of the School of Management so that the club could host membership building activities. Brittany’s membership building activities have resulted in tripling club membership since she became an officer in the club.

Another of Brittany’s accomplishments was being selected to be one of the youngest Area Governors in the Toastmasters organization. In the Area Governor role, Brittany was responsible to visit and liaise with five Toastmasters Clubs in the Hudson Valley. Brittany did an outstanding job and was continually recognized for her outstanding work.

On a more personal level, Brittany sets challenging goals for herself. Although she has been in Toastmasters for only three years, she has achieved the Advanced Communicator Silver Award and Advanced Leader Bronze Award. She has also set her sights on being the first Distinguished Toastmaster at Marist College and is very close to achieving it. The Distinguished Toastmaster award is the highest award in the Toastmasters International education program.

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In closing I would like to state that it is without reservation that I strongly recommend Brittany MacLeod for consideration for the Chief Funster position.  In addition to being an outstanding leader, she is a young woman of outstanding character. Brittany is truly a person with much potential for greater leadership and success. I believe she will do an outstanding job in this important role within your organization.

Sincerely,

Dr. David Gavin

Assistant Professor of Management

Marist College