Bulldogs News · VanderWall earns MVP in nationwide leadership program

Queen Creek, AZ–Queen Creek High School student-athlete Viann VanderWall was recently selected as the female MVP of a nationwide leadership program called Desire to Lead.

 VanderWall, who is a sophomore track athlete, was chosen for the award among over 400 female student athletes who participated in the program.

Desire to Lead is a program that helps students learn to build leadership skills through high school athletics. The athletes chosen are identified by coaches and athletic directors as students who have the desire to learn about leadership.

“It is a 10-week course that teaches student-athletes how to get into the right mindset to be a good leader for their teammates, and even at their schools,” said VanderWall. “It focuses on bringing positive energy into every situation, and setting goals that have the best outcome for not just ourselves, but for the whole team.”

VanderWall’s MVP award came with a year membership to a college recruiting program and a scholarship that will eventually equal $13,000 by her senior year.

“I learned that in order to be a leader, I needed to change how I approached everything,” said VanderWall of what she learned in the program. “From getting out of my shell and meeting new people, to how I saw my goals and how I broke them down–I found my own guiding principles, my own mission statement, which would all lead to the best possible desired outcome for my high school athletic experience.  The thing that ultimately was changed because of my DTL experience, is that now, I am determined to be uncomfortable every day.”

VanderWall is determined to push herself to be the best she can be in all aspects of her athletic journey, whether it be in the weight room, on the track or as a member of her team.

“I have really enjoyed getting to know Viann this year,” said QCHS athletic director Renee Regoli. “She works hard at everything she does and is beyond deserving of her MVP award.”

VanderWall has been asked to return for the next program as a mentor for the new student-athletes in the spring and says she is excited for the opportunity.

“I just have to say that I have made connections and friendships with not just athletes from across the country, but coaches as well,” said VanderWall. “I feel very lucky to have been able to participate.”