A global PR company asked to volunteer with the middle and high school students from the program I direct. I was excited they wanted to help us, but instead of suggesting simple ideas like organizing a clean-up day, I decided to ask for the thing I wanted most: an opportunity for my kids to tell their story visually.
I organized a writing session because it was vital for me to capture the kid’s voices…not just audibly, but authentically. I asked them, “what would you say to the world about who you are and what you do at the center every day?” The sentences they wrote and ultimately filmed were their original responses unfiltered and unedited. Students also developed the creative arc for this short video after guiding the PR staff around the building. They knew exactly how they wanted to be portrayed.
Leadership development is about using our resources and/or platform to allow someone else the opportunity to speak, stand, or create for themselves. I take this aspect of my work as a scholar, writer, and educator very seriously because, without mentors and educators who understood that I had talent but often lacked access, it would have taken me much longer to achieve a lot of my goals.
These beautiful kids have expanded my heart and continue to inspire me to strive for excellence, academic and otherwise. Enjoy! We are Carver.