Yorktown African American Cultural Society's essay competition winner announced
Darian Johnson-Cook, a sixth-grader at George P. Phenix K-8 School, 1061 Big Bethel Road, Hampton, has won the Yorktown African American Cultural Society's essay competition.
The essay, "Comparison of Past and Present Leaders," is included below:
Leaders are made by the events that affect their lives. In order to get ready for leadership, a person should be involved in the community. For example, church, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and school activities. All of these things help learning about different problems in life and help to increase leader skills. Being able to identify problems and motivate people to follow you and support you helps you to be a leader. But you must start today by being concerned in your community and educate yourself along with understanding the difference between right and wrong. This will help you to be a good leader while young and when you get older.
If you live in a community and do not notice it, then you will have the duty to keep it clean and help those that are younger and older. While helping, you can be of worth to your community. You have to be working. Join your church and join in community actions. It is also important to support and help children that may need help in school. This will improve your community and make you a leader.
There will always be leaders in the past and the future. Our past leaders always had a reason to fight, no matter if it was good or bad.
There was always an obstacle in the way. Some of our best leaders weren’t too educated or they had a different tone of skin than others like Martin Luther King Jr. or Harriet Tubman, who lost her children and husband because she was sold as a slave to somebody else.
They never gave up hope. They always had a reason to believe that even if they suffered, maybe they could save others. One thing some people don’t notice is that they usually were not lazy.
In the future, I believe that is exactly what we are going to be like, lazy. We will have so much that the people before us did not have and we will not even appreciate it. Like, a lot of people don’t care if they fail until they notice it was the wrong choice. They put a dent in people who could have, should have, or would have, been a leader in the future.
I know many people who could be leaders, but unlike our past leaders who used what they could get, these people brush opportunity right off their shoulders like a piece of lint.
It is important for future African American leaders to be involved today to influence younger African Americans such as myself. One of my heroes is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He encourages me to live by my dream. He used a non-violent approach. He helped with challenges, like bus routes, segregation in schools, and discrimination. We have to fight these challenges as young leaders.
The reason we need leaders is because of rebellion and difference. No matter how tough it gets, that is how it will always be. That is what I believe.
One way that African Americans can serve their communities is speaking to the public. One of the greatest public speakers that we have in our nation is our president, Barack Obama. It is fantastic that young African Americans are able to have a role model to look up to.
Thus, I bid good luck to the future generations to come.