Eye of the King – Reflections from a teen on MLK

Being youth-driven, it only makes sense to let teens have a voice on the “youth-driven spaces” blog.  The excerpt below is from an incredible student leader in Benton Harbor Michigan.  Carlos Henderson is one of a group of students who serves on Benton Harbor High School’s Student Advisory.  Their Advisory is part of the Michigan Department of Education’s Safe & Supportive School project.  Student Advisories across 20 high schools in Michigan work to create projects and initiatives that support their school reform efforts.  These students are inspiring leaders and its my honor to share a blog space with one of these incredible young people.


Carlos Henderson – Senior at Benton Harbor High School

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” These are the words that exemplifies Martin Luther King Jr’s presence and impact on this world. On February 26th, 2015, the Benton Harbor High School student body, along with staff, traveled to Celebration Cinema to see the movie Selma. The field trip was well on time, as the students gathered in theaters to honor the memory of a visionary leader who changed American culture forever. The larger-than-life leadership lessons that Dr. King gave the world are as important for our society, especially the youth, today as they were during Dr. King’s life. The most profound aspect of leadership demonstrated by Martin Luther King Jr was having total commitment to the cause. Dr. King’s stance on political activism in a non-violent way made him a natural leader and an inspirational figure. He led a social movement of equality during a time when he wasn’t supported by most. In fact, he was threatened and despised by many. Dr. King’s leadership and dream ultimately cost Dr. King his life. Even when he knew his cause was unpopular and his life was in danger, King remained committed to his vision. He was arrested upwards of 25 times and assaulted at least four reported times.

Leadership is becoming more and more essential in our communities and nations alike. We need more individuals to disrupt the status quo and strive for a high standard of change. Change-driven leadership is beneficial in the grocery store, the schools, the White House, and in our own homes. Martin Luther King Jr was an extraordinary, upright man whose dream and leadership capacity is still celebrated and admired to this day.



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