“One of my earliest memories of learning about a powerful, black, historical female figure was in elementary school. I think my love of history was developed in my childhood, as my mom and grandparents would often give me gifts in the form of stories in books. My fourth grade class was assigned to memorize or read a poem, and I chose to memorize a poem about Harriet Tubman from a children’s book.

Tubman was born into slavery, but is most known for her role in leading hundreds of slaves into freedom through the Underground Railroad. When I first learned about her story, I remember being in awe of such a hero. The courage, determination and love she had was inspiring. Learning about the world she lived in also helped give me some perspective on where we come from as a people.

Tubman was, and still is, a role model for what a servant-leader looks like and someone who risked her own safety for the good of others. When I have the chance to interact with kids today, I think about her profound impact on me when I was a child. Being a role model is one of the highest callings and honors. I want to be someone who leaves people with hope and someone who passes along the blessings I’ve been given to impact generations to come.”

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