{Leaders of Today Learning About Leaders of Yesterday}

Being a part of CMU’s Leadership Advancement Scholarship, we are given the opportunity to take an American History course with a focus on leadership. That being said, HST 100L writing intensive has exposed my class and I to the history of our country, and what movements and leaders it took to become the land of the free and the home of the brave. Throughout various papers, projects, and readings I have experienced, let me tell you about my favorite!

Being someone who receives pure enjoyment of having deep conversations with others and really getting to know them through their experiences and backgrounds, our final project was by far my favorite assignment in this course. The paper was divided into two separate topics.

The first portion of the assignment was to do a book report on someone in history that related to your major. Our class got to go around the room and tell the professor what their major is and what they might think they could write about while pertaining to their interests. Personally, as a journalism major, Ida B. Wells, African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, feminist, Georgist, and early leader in the Civil Right movement, was one of the first people that came to mind. Crusade for Justice The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells was the book that I checked out from the library to do some research on her and start my paper. Although I honestly did not get the chance to read the entire book, I have decided to check it out again this summer to finish it because it really was quite interesting.

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The second half of the task was to correlate a movement in history to the person you did your book report on. Personally, my first instinct was to focus on the civil rights movement since Wells was such a huge civil rights activist. On the contrary, I thought that segregation would be almost the devil’s advocate of the civil rights movement in ways that I could discuss the ways Wells dealt with her experiences as a minority during her time.

Overall, throughout the many experiences and assignments we were given within the course, I really have gained a new perspective on history as it really does relate to my life and culture in so many ways I hadn’t recognized previously. Being involved in the Leadership Institute so far in my college experiences has really opened my eyes to a whole new meaning to so many new perspectives and differences. Grasping these new concepts and appreciating so many aspects of my life and my education to leadership has truly forced me to be more conscious of other people’s lives and differences and gain an interest as to how they became the person they are today. I don’t mean to ramble, but LAS has shaped me into the open-minded leader I am today, and learning about the leaders of yesterday has only assisted that quality of mine to grow each day.

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