Why Did you Join LFW?
I seized on an opportunity to gain insight and experience, while taking a pilgrimage to Africa. But, I began to overlook what could be obtained, for what I could potentially give. Throughout the process, bonds began to form, and I acknowledged that I was surrounding myself among future changemakers that mirror my image. This was an opportunity to join an expansive community of innovators with a collective mindset to change the world; one individual in a community at a time.
What was the biggest lesson you learned in the program?
This journey with LFW has taught me to make peace where you are, and with who you are. There are so many places that African-Americans and other marginalized groups feel out of place. Even now our political landscape is built on divisive divisions and makes anyone who doesn’t share a European phenotype feel out of place. Making peace where you are can be in your country, state, city but mostly internally.
How did your LFW experience, impact your life today?
LFW has impacted my life in various ways that I wouldn’t have even fathomed. From my experience, I expected to meet some interesting individuals, gain international exposure and have some inspirational and insightful chats, but it was more than I imaged. My experience was challenging at times, but it humbled and amazed me to see how much I can impact others. The leadership skills and bonds formed from the journey has encouraged me to break barriers and challenge myself to seek greatness, while creating an enduring legacy for my family.
Maurice Rodgers is a senior at University of Louisville working towards becoming a Professor in African American History and Political Science. He is expected to graduate this Spring with a BA in Political Science and Pan- African Studies. At his alma mater Olive-Harvey College, Maurice served as the Student Government Association Vice President, a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and a part of the One Million Degrees program.
After graduation, Maurice hopes to continue his scholarship, and plans to return to Africa for humanitarian and research efforts.
Why Did you Join LFW?
I joined LFW with the encouragement from a former H.S teacher/mentor saw the opportunity as a way to continue my growth in Leadership as a OneGoal Fellow. After learning more about the program, I was intrigued with the overall mission of LFW and became drawn to see how LFW could assist in not only my growth in leadership, but my personal growth as well.
What was the Biggest Lesson you Learned?
There were so many lessons learned throughout my short time involved in LFW but the biggest lesson I took, was to never settle. Throughout my time interacting with the group, during the trip and conversations we had, it was very encouraging and humbling to develop that family and support system that not only believes in you but also pushes you to go after any and everything you want in life. It was like an eternal flame was lit within me.
How Did Your Experience Impact What You Do Today?
The impact I got from LFW is unmeasured, I was able to return home with a different mindset, where I viewed life in a different way, I was so closed minded and thought only way to better my situation or better those around me was in the same survival mindset. My view, focused and confidence flourished in way where I could be hungry for success by being open and receiving to multiple opportunities and accepting constructive criticism and increased my determination to rewrite the narrative that's not only associated with me being African-American, but me being a an African-American young man from Chicago.
Roderick Nash (IG:SlimRico_ @RastaGfx) is a native of Chicago, IL. currently working for P.L.S Financial Institute. Roderick will be pursuing his degree in Criminal Justice in the Fall at Malcolm X College, with plans to go to Law School. He's also a Graphic Design artist at Rasta GFX, designing cover art. He's also learning coding and hopes to one day open a youth center to help and mentor other kids on Chicago's Westside