Devils' Advocate

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Devils' Advocate

Devils' Advocate

At what point does one see themself as a pioneer for others?


Leaders emerge from all different sorts of histories and backgrounds, but there’s always a pivotal moment where a leader recognizes and embraces their role. Whether you rise from adversity to find yourself in that position, or are set to be a leader from day one varies between leader to leader; but there is always at least a moment where the idea clicks, and your position as a role model and leader is set in stone. 


Renowned journalist for The Atlantic, Janisha Watts recently found her role as a pioneer for others after a recent visit to Crawford Middle School to discuss her history as a journalist. 


Watts paid a visit to the middle school to discuss her background  and to demonstrate how she was able to overcome childhood adversity and become successful. Yet as she visited Crawford, Watts’ moment of realization as a leader clicked. As kids from the school began to ask questions regarding how she dealt with trauma in her childhood, Watts changed her speech and  her speaking tone as she began to realize how she was seen by these students.


A leader and a celebrity.


Kids began to ask questions regarding how Watts dealt with the absence of a father and how she overcame a mother who was addicted to drugs. These questions were inquired not only with a sense of curiosity, but also hope. As I was listening to her speech I noticed this was the moment Watts realized. These kids were asking questions because they saw her as a role model, a leader to follow. If she was able to overcome these feats, how did she? And can they do the same? As the assembly, and the questions continued, I began to see Watts embrace her figure as a leader. If she hadn’t seen herself as that large of a role model before, her visit to Crawford Middle school should have definitely changed her mind. 


 Watts’ trip to Crawford Middle effectively changed her perspective on how people truly see her. Knowing that the children of Crawford Middle School and the city of Lexington stand behind her was most likely a monumental moment for Watts, and will likely forever influence how she relates to people, now knowing she’s seen as a leader.


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About the Contributor
Elliot Tiennot, Editor
Elliot Tiennot is a junior at Henry Clay. It's his second year in Journalism and he is currently an editor for the Devils' Advocate. In his free time Elliot enjoys playing soccer on the school's varsity team with his friends. He also enjoys playing games with friends and watching sports.

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