How to Leave a Lasting Impression

In light of Dr. Maya Angelou’s recent transition from earth, I’m reminded just how powerful, important, and necessary my voice is in this world. Dr. Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Annie Johnson) was an American author and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and many books of poetry. She is credited with an expansive list of plays, movies, and television shows. She have received dozens awards and over 30 honorary doctoral degrees. But for almost five years of her life, she was a mute. Following a tragic personal event, Maya became a mute fearing her voice resulted after a tragic event that led to a loss of one man's life. It was a teacher that helped her find her voice again. Look at the impact her voice made on our society!

As I reflect on her life and legacy, I can’t help but to ask myself, “Who has my voice impacted?” 

Dr. Angelou had a passion for literacy and education, and she encouraged others to share in that passion. One of my favorite quotes of hers is, “When you get, give and when you learn, teach.” It was this quote and many other pieces of her work that inspires me to share my voice, my love for education, and sometimes even my humor. I’m even positive that someone somewhere even benefits from me sharing my words.

I ask you, who have you shared your voice with? What are you saying to our society that will leave a lasting impression? 

Kushuna Exford is a Membership and Marketing Director for the Metro Atlanta YMCA Association. She is newly married, enjoys reading, traveling, photography, trying new restaurants and thrift shopping. Kushuna was born in Birmingham, AL and prides herself on being a woman that understands and loves the game of football, especially SEC football! War Eagle!   

Tags: This Week in Young Leaders, voice, sharing, Maya Angelous, poet, inspiration, Millennials, Generation Y, Generation X, autobiography, essay, mentor, Education, Leaders, Leadership, YMCA, the y

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