GREELEY, Colo. --
Greeley West High School hosted Spartan alumnus and Air Force Brig. Gen. Heather W. Blackwell, as a guest speaker and for an induction into the Greeley West Hall of Fame.
Blackwell, the Director of Cyberspace and Information Dominance at Air Combat Command, shared stories about her leadership, opportunities and the hardships she has gone through during her time in the Air Force.
“It’s been a magical, awesome, and amazing journey,” Blackwell said.
Blackwell’s message was meant to be inspirational.
“You’d think that after going through so many leadership positions I’d be brave, and bold, and ready to do all these things, and I’ve still had loads of opportunities [to become better],” she stated.
Blackwell has a lot of close relations with the Greeley West community. Her sister, Assistant Principal at Greeley, Amy Zulauf, has been a major influence in Blackwell’s life.
“Even though she’s shorter than me, I do look up to my older sister,” said Zulauf. “Like I mentioned before, she’s someone who has taken positive risks, become a leader, and she now has an amazing impact on a lot of people.
“She’s making the world a better place in her own way. I want to do that too. I get to watch and learn from her, ask her questions, and take her advice.”
Blackwell can be a role model to many in our community, as even her sister allows her to be.
Zulauf continued, “I think my sister can be a role model for anyone. She has been one for me because she makes me think in different ways. We have different jobs, but we are both leaders. I can get some cool insight into my own role and my own job from learning about what she does as a leader.”
Students can really get a lot from this speech, including ideas for the future.
For example, they might want to follow Blackwell’s footsteps and go into the Air Force themselves.
Greeley Senior Martin Uribe Federico stated, “Blackwell’s speech was very influential and motivational. The main point I got from this speech was to never doubt your ability to achieve your goals in life.”
But even if the Air Force doesn’t seem like a future you want, there’s still value to be had in Blackwell’s speech.
“I want students to hear her message about being brave. My sister does not identify as a confident person, but she takes risks and tries new things anyway,” Zulauf said. “Being brave doesn’t mean you are confident. Being brave means that you take the next step in your life, even if it is scary, because it can lead to the life you want.”