In my EDL 610 course, which is Visionary Leadership, we are working on developing a leadership platform. This is meant to be my personal story post as I create this platform.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I believe education is about preparing scholars to take responsibility for their future success, whether that is to continue to earn a bachelors degree after graduating high school, or entering the workforce. The choice is theirs and they will have the tools to be successful. I was inspired throughout high school to take personal responsibility. I was lucky to be part of a state-wide organization and national organization, dedicated to providing sport and recreation opportunities for athletes with disabilities. I was encouraged by teachers, friends, peers, to be involved with the Michigan Disability Sports Alliance and National Disability Sports Alliance. The community came out and helped me start a team in my hometown, the Howell Yellow Jackets. I was being given the skills to take responsibility for my success and the success of others.
I learned how to create and manage budgets, to advocate for support, to be engaged. These activities happened outside the classroom. I was still being engaged in the classroom, but encouraged to participate in outside activities to enhance my learning. I believe these opportunities should be available to anyone and everyone who seeks them. This is why I have been a firm supporter of created scholar-driven clubs at AAS, though some did not understand how a virtual, online charter school could operate such activities. Where there is a will, there is a way. I learned this at a young age, if you want something to happen you have to put in the work to make it happen.
Personal responsibility. It can be modeled, it can be replicated. It can be achieved. If it were not for the opportunities I was provided, I would not be where I am today. I would not be a 32-year-old leader of a charter school system. It took the drive to take responsibility for my future success, and I will work tirelessly to ensure I help our scholars be prepared as well.
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing the journey throughout SDSU's MA.EL. program.