March 29, 2013

Green '13 Helps Develop Next Generation of Leaders

When it came time for Imani Green '13 to look for an internship, she admits, at first, she didn't know in which direction to turn. After chatting with a friend about her recent experience interning at the nonprofit organization Sociedad Latina in nearby Roxbury, Mass., Imani was quickly convinced it was the right fit.

Working with Latino youth and families to "end destructive cycles of poverty, health inequities, and lack of educational and professional opportunities" in the community, Sociedad Latina impressed Imani with its model toward developing the next generation of leaders. For someone who found her own voice on campus and became very involved in clubs and organizations, the draw was obvious.

"I think leadership is important," said Imani. "Emmanuel has been instrumental in me becoming a leader. I believe we need to start teaching kids when they are young that they are capable of being leaders."

During the internship, Imani worked with neighborhood children and young adults, ages 10-21, as part of Sociedad's "Pathways to Success" program, which trains youths to advocate for themselves in the community. She helped develop their speaking skills, travelled with them to school committee meetings to hear discussions and voice their opinions, and encouraged them to see themselves as future leaders.

The best part of the experience for her?

"Seeing the transformation of the students," she said. "Witnessing these youths gaining confidence in themselves as leaders."

The internship also convinced Imani that her career needs to revolve around more than just her academic pursuits.

"It gave me more insight into a career path, I know now that I need to pursue a direction that ties into my extracurricular involvement," she said. "I need to figure how to tie in everything that interests me."