In Their Own Words

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wakefield High School students Isela Melendez, Madelaine Torres, and Ana Acevedo are all members of the Latinas Leading Tomorrow organization. Here are their thoughts about leadership:

Isela Melendez, 18:

"A leader is someone who leads other people to be leaders."

"Women are more sympathetic as leaders. Men are more hard-headed."

"I think there are more followers than leaders. Followers don't have a spark, something that drives them."

"When I was about 10 or 11, I had to recite a passage from the Bible in front of the whole church. I was very nervous. As I waited for my turn, I thought 'Everyone is so quiet and I'm in God's house." As I walked up to the podium I thought, 'I hope I don't trip.' Afterward I realized I actually liked doing it. I said, 'That was fun.'"

Madelaine Torres, 17:

"For males, its more 'his way or no way.' A woman is more considerate of others' feelings."

"At home it's whatever Daddy says, goes. That has always made me mad and want to stand up for myself."

"If you're getting people together for a protest, you can't just say, 'Let's go protest.' You have to say 'We're going to do this' and walk out of the room."

Ana Acevedo, 17:

"A leader is enthusiastic, very connected to people and knows how to put them in front of himself."

"Leadership comes from how you're raised. Our parents encourage us to speak up. I know my parents are always behind me. That's where the drive and confidence come from."

Corinne Bynum, 16, a junior at Gaithersburg High School shares her thoughts on leadership as well:

"I'd have to say my granddaddy is a role model. A lot of people give you advice but don't take their own advice. His actions match his words."

"Command and control management is okay, but people won't really respect you. In politics, it has caused rebellion and riots. "

"A leader always has the final say but listens to everybody."

"A lot of black men think the white man is trying to tear us down and make us think we're nothing. That's why they want to see themselves as leaders."

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