Student has philosophy well worth following

Published 8:13 pm Thursday, January 29, 2015

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to meet Selma native and the principal at Sylvanie Williams College Prep in New Orleans, Krystal Hardy. I met her and her students at the National Voting Rights Museum as they toured the facility to learn more about the history of Selma and the Civil Rights Movement.

Krystal was the kind of principal you wish was yours, or you kids. She was very intelligent and outgoing, and you could see how much she truly loved her job and her students.

The students were very well behaved, and even at ages 8 through 10 they were very receptive to the information being handed down to them.

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After their time at the museum, the group headed over to the Edmund Pettus Bridge to make their own way over the bridge they had just learned so much about.

The excitement was evident on their faces as they made their way across. And after their short journey, Krystal huddled the students up so they could talk about their adventure.

She told them to talk to each other and tell their neighbor their experience of walking over the bridge. Chatter quickly formed and the students began telling each other their favorite parts of the day. Some told how fun it was and some how scary, but many of the students just expressed how “cool” it was to be in a place that held so much history.

I talked to a student before they loaded up the bus and asked him his favorite part of the experience. And when I say these kids were smart, they were smart.

His answer really excited me, because I felt like after hearing it, the kids really understood the purpose of the trip and were sure to take something away from the experience.

The fifth grade student, Jermaine Brown, told me his favorite part of the entire day was walking over the bridge because he felt like he was able to relive the history of the Voting Rights Movement himself.

“My experience walking over the bridge was good because it was about how Martin Luther King Jr. and protestors marched [because] they wanted freedom and the right to vote,” he said.

I was so impressed with him and all of the student at Krystal’s school, and they way that she interacts with them.

My favorite part of the day was hearing her talk to the students before they left.

She had them to repeat a phrase back to her that still stands out to me.

“I can be anything. I matter. I can make change happen in this world, at this time, with these people, at this moment,” she said.

If we could all carry that philosophy in our day to day lives, this world would be a much better place.