Thank You...

Thank You...

I made the decision to come to Washington, D.C. through the Washington Center because I was eager to find myself and the career field that fits my interest the best. Many of my friends decided to go abroad for their study abroad experience, but I decided to come to our nation’s capital, which made me question if I would have a great experience that would be equally transformative. As a freshman and sophomore, I usually heard stories from upperclassmen who actually went abroad, and they always explained to me how their lives have changed. At first, the decision to stay in the states worried me because I thought I might not have amazing adventures like others.


Well, I do see Washington, D.C. as an adventure because my environment of having the traditional college setting has disappeared. My classroom became the Office of the Public Defenders’ service. I've learned a lot about Russian, Indian, and Massachusetts culture from my roommates through language, food, and interests. It would be sad if I discredited that as a valuable experience. I've also created personal connections that could lead to excursion outside the United States in the future. This experience has made me truly understand the impact that our country has on others’ countries. Also, to hear their perspectives on our culture, politics, and economy really broadened my knowledge on the United States.


I appreciate these different discussions because I want to be leader that can make this world a more inclusive place for all communities. I am continuing to learn the best ways to do that in a nation with a lot of influence and resources. The Washington Center is very well a melting pot of countries, which is similar to our country as a whole.

As an aspiring leader in this nation, I have witnessed a lot of different styles of leadership throughout the semester. And, I've begun to rethink my definition of what a leader is now. I feel a leader is someone who stands for something great and has a selfless attitude because a lot of people that are called “leaders” do not have others’ well-being in mind as they navigate their careers and lives. I really see Professor Hardy, who taught my academic course this semester, as someone who is a true leader. He has a full-time job as a lawyer at the IRS and family obligations, but he dedicates three hours out of his work week to teach criminal law. He loves to teach, helping others find their path and has been available for assistance to Washington Center students for the last 15 years. He is someone I consider a selfless person, who genuinely stands for something greater than himself. In my leadership development, I will focus on being truthful to myself and genuine. My short-term plans consist of applying for fellowships and considering law school. I will be able to achieve them if continue to strive for the best within myself.


Thank you all for reading snippets of my D.C. experience. Good luck with your future endeavors.


Be Legendary,


Jahmel Martin  

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