Kids Appreciate the Past

“Close your eyes and think about this question – ‘What would you do to change the world?’”

Elementary school student Destiny Nichols wants to go to Harvard and become a doctor.

Middle school student Fedline Germain wants to stop violence worldwide.

Middle school student Natasha Adkins wants to be the first female president of the United States.

High school student Elijah McRae wants to work for the United Nations.

These four students are members of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida. They attended Youth Night at Rollins as part of the MLK weekend celebration and worked with their college-student mentor, Louisa Gibbs ’11.

The group probed many topics while discussing the episode of Eyes on the Prize that they had watched earlier. Elijah challenged the rest of the group. “It makes me curious – if we had lived back in that time, what would we have done? Would we have followed? Fought? Run away? Or led like Martin Luther King?”

Whether or not they were sure about what their actions would have been, all the students were thankful they did not live through that, especially Natasha. She was “thankful because Martin Luther King, Jr., was strong enough to stand up himself and do something. I am glad I didn’t have to live through that myself.”

During the tour, these four students were quite excited by Rollins’ campus. Fifth grader Destiny thought the campus was “really big,” but by the end of the tour she was torn between her wish to go to Harvard and her wish to go to Rollins. McRae’s favorite part of the campus was the food, while Natasha loved the small classes. They were all impressed by the beautiful oak tables in the classrooms in Orlando. After the tour was over, Destiny said that her favorite part of Rollins was simply “everything.”

What lessons can Rollins’ students learn from these much younger kids?

McRae says that, although “this is one messed up world,” people need to “try to get along with a lot of different types of people. They just need to have a more positive viewpoint and to focus on things other than success and money.”

Fedline pointed out that “you don’t need to hurt other people to get your point across.”

Gibbs summed up everything Destiny, Fedline, Natasha and Elijah believed: the most important part of changing the world is “standing up for what you think is right , no matter how scary it might be.”

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