I’ve found inspiration in many forms over the past four years. I’ve been inspired by exceptional professors at Shepherd University, my family members, and my co-workers. Not to mention artists like Maya Angelou, writers like Tony Morison, activists like Prince Ea, and politicians like Elizabeth Warren. But the people who inspire me most are my peers.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved on two teams at Shepherd University whose members push me to be my best, support me in every endeavor, and give me hope for our future as nation and world.
The first is the Multicultural Leadership Team (MLT) which I talked about in my first blog post. MLT is a group of social justice advocates whose efforts are rooted in service and community involvement. I’ve gained teammates from all over the world, and learned about so many new perspectives and cultures are not covered or represented in my classes. MLT has given me a passion for social justice, and provided me with the tools to be a leader and advocate in my community. Most importantly, it has shown me the power and beauty in diversity – something that I crave to experience, and that has guided me to seek a place with more diversity in my post-graduate endeavors.
The second team that has shaped me at Shepherd is the Debate and Forensics Team. A dear friend of mine roped me into joining last semester and it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made in college. Not only do I get to surround myself with intelligent, like-minded people with impeccable speaking and arguing skills, but I also found a new form of creative expression that has been an essential part of my life the past year. I participated in poetry and prose interpretation events that allowed me to find pieces I’m passionate about, compile them in a creative way, and deliver them with power and precision. My pieces covered topics like feminism, political awareness, environmental activism, and gender equality.
This semester I spearheaded our Showcase event that took place at Town Run Brewery. After watching all of my teammates nail their performances back to back, I realized how socially conscious and aware every single piece was: from mental illness and alcoholism awareness to LGBTQ activism and more. The event was a blast, it went perfectly (besides losing my phone charger). We even got to collect tons feminine hygiene donations for the Go With the Flow campaign, created by Kaitlyn Miller, a fellow MLT member.
This team, like MLT, is made up of driven, compassionate students. Knowing that I have friends like these who will be leaders in the world very soon, gives me so much hope for my generation and those to come. I have so many sources of inspiration around me, in my peers, teammates, and friends.
Check out a goofy little promo video some debaters made for the team: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJVvgos4a1s