Trinity’s Future Leaders program finished its second year in May 2021. The group was formed to give Trinity’s Black students the opportunity to meet over lunch with inspirational Black male and female leaders in the community. Some of these mentors are consistent faces who come monthly and develop relationships with students, while others are guest speakers who share their experiences over a single session. Some student participants shared their perspectives on the group below. We are grateful to them for their involvement in the group and for sharing their insights with us.
Malik Belle ’22 (De La Salle House)
The Future Leaders Program Trinity offers is a great opportunity for students of color, like myself, to feel safe and understood in our skin. We meet once a month and when we gather, we sit and talk about societal issues and their impact on our community. It is a great program that I always look forward to meeting. It gives me the opportunity to make friends with underclassmen and teach them things that I’ve learned in my three years of attendance at Trinity High School.
I believe the Future Leader’s Program motivated me to reach out to other students of color here at Trinity just to let them know I would help and be there for them. Without the Future Leader’s program, I don’t think I’d be as willing to approach another person or be as comfortable talking with them about issues in our community. I am eternally grateful for the Future Leader’s Program because it has also given me some of my closest friends. I will never forget the experience and what I was taught through the Future Leader’s Program. I thank Trinity, as well as every person who has volunteered their time to provide us with life skills and advice which is something I will use and cherish in my everyday life forever.
Kaliyah Edrington ’23 (Loyola House)
The Future Leaders Groups really helped me in certain situations regarding Trinity. The group let me know that because the color of my skin I must work 10 times harder than everyone else. The Future Leaders Group taught me that when I encounter racism the way that I should respond shouldn’t be in a rude way, I should let that person know that I am glad to be who I am. The group inspired me that if I wanted to go get something then I should go for it, I shouldn’t wait around for it to come to me. This group was my safe place at Trinity and it made me feel welcomed and accepted
The women that come in a speak to us are very inspiring. The stories that they tell and how they have advocated for their rights. These women are so involved in their community. It makes me want to be more involved as well. I really hope we are able to have this more often.
Justin Gist ’23 (De La Salle House)
The Future Leaders Group showed me that I am not alone when it comes to facing systematic oppression and my own feelings. Living where I am the minority and outcasted from connecting to other people about my experiences, this group gave me the opportunity to hear about adults’ experiences and their own intellect. Hearing even adults share their same universal experience was sort of calming, knowing that I was surrounded by people I could identify with. I felt empowered and educated. Every day of my life, white people have been telling me how I should react to the hate my people and I go through. In this group, I learned that we cannot change how people will act, but we can change how we react and move on from that experience.