Excerpt: If It Takes a Village, Build One: How I Found Meaning Through a Life of Service and 100+ Ways You Can Too
Another plus: Howard University offered me the chance to live in the nation's capital. I remember during my first semester going down to the National Mall to visit the Capitol and sitting in on congressional hearings, listening to the people who make our laws arguing and debating. I'll be honest: I usually got lost in all of the back-and-forth and the long speeches made by some lawmakers. But as the child of an activist, I understood that the laws they were talking about would have a huge impact on people's lives and even on my own life. I was thrilled to see that such life- changing debates were held in public and to be able to witness political debates by leaders who had been elected by ordinary people like my family and myself. Something about living in DC made politics more urgent—and somehow more real.
So although my major was in arts production management, I minored in political science. I even thought about going into politics for a time, though I eventually decided not to, and it's a good thing, too; I don't have the temperament for it. What I love about service is the hands-on aspect, working with people, especially children, who need my help; that excites me far more than sitting in some conference room hammering out policy. Plus I think I would be far too impatient—as in bite my arm off!—with the slow pace of creating policy when I can serve in a hands-on way on behalf of critical issues that need immediate attention. I understand, though, that politicians, administrators, and especially advocates are a crucial part of service. Howard was where I first began to understand that each of us has to find our own path, our own particular way to serve.