A class every American should have to take

Leadership Education

Today’s world is filled with so much hate. Everywhere you look: the news, social media, out in public, and sometimes even at home, is filled with so much hate. The part that is even sadder to me is that most of this hate is aimed towards one another. People like to think that they are better than others and they use that mindset to create a sense of power over someone else. I never really understood how people could be so awful towards someone else, and then I took “HDF110 Oppression: Roots & Impact” and so many of my questions were answered or at least discussed.

This class was created to look deeply at different forms of oppression and how people deal with being apart of those groups. We discussed ways that people experience oppression based on race, ethnicity, gender, social class, sexual orientation, disabilities, and religion. Unfortunately, these groups are not ones that were oppressed many years ago and are not anymore. These are groups that are still facing discrimination and prejudice against still to this day. Therefore, this is why I believe that every American should have to take this class.

This class really made me think about my own privilege. I am white, heterosexual, able bodied, and financially stable. My whole life I grew up with so many great opportunities that helped me get to where I am today. Although I had obstacles along the way, I never faced issues such as discrimination that hindered me from following my dreams. Taking this class truly opened my eyes to how although many oppressed groups have achieved great successes such as slavery being abolished, women gaining rights, gay marriage rights. etc., they still face prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination in just their day to day life.

Oppression is a problem that started so long ago and will probably go on for many years to come. People learn from a young age that the culture they grow up in is the best, or the “right” way to live, therefore any other way is wrong or just not normal. We choose to stick with those we are similar to and tear down those that are different from us. My biggest takeaway from this class was the fact that everyone in society must be educated and try to put themselves in other people’s shoes in order to try and move forward into a more inclusive society. Everyone is different, but we are all people who share this Earth.


This class just proved to me more that I want to be an inclusive leader. Whether it is in my future classroom and or in the community that I live in, I want everyone that I lead to know that they are welcome and that I accept their ideas. As a leader, it is important to   create an environment where all followers feel included and comfortable to grow and share their ideas, and I strive to be that kind of leader.



It’s ok to just say “no”. In fact, it’s better!

Leadership Education, Uncategorized

Recently, my cohort was asked to think about whether “leadership comes from saying the words ‘yes’ or ‘no’.” After first reading the prompt, I honestly didn’t even get what the question was asking, hence why it has taken me a whole week to even write this post.

I let this question sit in my head for days as I tried applying it to my life and to the leadership positions I have been in. How many times have I said no? Has it helped me become a better leader? What about famous people? What famous leaders said “no”? 

BOOM. That was when it hit me. Leadership comes from saying “no!”

Many of our nations greatest leaders were the ones who refused to conform to what the world was telling them. One of the greatest leaders who comes to my mind is Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks did not let anyone tell her what to do because she was a colored woman thus leading to her title as “the first lady of civil rights”. Her will to say no led her to become an amazing leader of her time.

Sometimes, especially for me, saying no sounds so mean and sometimes I shy out of saying no because I don’t want people to dislike me. And that is what we call a people pleaser. Dr Caren Aviv says “people pleasing is looking externally for affirmation, acceptance, and approval, rather than looking inwards”.I’m over living like that. How am I supposed to grow as a leader when I just conform to what everyone else says. As a leader, it is my job to stick up for what I am passionate about and say no to the things that I do not support. Saying no leads you to push yourself to become stronger and more independent in what you believe in.


So from here, I invite you to look back on your life and how many times you let the word “no” stop you from sticking up for your passions and how many times you let the word “no” empower you and help you grow. Because when you start saying “no” to more things, I promise some serious growth will come out of it.




Ellen DeGeneres. Or, as Grace used to call her, Ellen the generous.

Leadership Education

When I first say the name “Ellen DeGeneres”, what comes to your mind? Her tv show? Her humor? All the awesome gifts she gives away? Dory from Finding Nemo?

Do her leadership qualities stick out?

For me, Ellen is one of the most inspiring and motivated leaders I can think of. Not only is she insanely spirited and fun, she also is very passionate and her passions are what motivate people to do good in the world. Some of Ellen’s strongest passions are women’s rights, animals, bullying, and gay rights. Although Ellen’s show is seen as a comedy and brings comic relief to everyone’s every day life, Ellen uses her show to bring awareness to such issues in this world. Ellen also uses her show to bring in people who need help and uses her offerings to provide for them in ways that will bring them so much joy. Although she has millions of dollars, she isn’t the type to use it all on herself but to give it away for people who really need it. Because of her kindness and humbleness, Ellen was awarded the Medal of Freedom given to her by Barack Obama.


Ellen receiving the Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor—it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better. From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”-Barack Obama

So, next time you tune into the Ellen DeGeneres show, I would encourage you to pay close attention to all the amazing deeds that Ellen does to change this world for the better. Maybe even her humor encourages you to become a better person(cause I know it does for me!). Aside from her humor though, pay attention to the ways that she supports humans and even animals and the ways she brings joy to people and motivates them to make an impact on the world.

Here are some of my favorite quotes by Ellen! Enjoy 🙂

“Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.”

“Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come. ”

“Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others. ”

All quotes are from BrainyQuote.com



Leadership Lecture #1

Leadership Training

If you read my Connections blog post you would’ve read about my favorite lecture on the trip, but, I would like to share another one that really spoke to me personally while also on a leadership scale as well. For those of you who know the Peterson family, you know that the arts is something we are all very passionate about so when I saw a lecture titled “Dancing Through Social Change”, I knew I had to go. This lecture talked a lot on how the arts: dancing, singing, drawing, writing, playing an instrument, etc. really ties people together and speaks through people. Not everyone loves public speaking, but they may love getting in front of a crowd and dancing. One example we talked about was with Bindi Irwin’s experience on Dancing with the Stars. Before appearing on the TV show, Bindi didn’t really like talking about the loss of her Father, and it wasn’t until the dance practices leading up to the performance that she really broke down about it. I personally connected with this a lot after losing my Grandma. My Grandma was also a lover of music and she had a beautiful voice. After she passed away, I would listen to her favorite classical pieces and I would feel like I was sitting in her living room listening to them with her. In connecting this to my leadership style, I realized that I can use my musical talents such as dancing and playing my clarinet to really showcase and spread my passions. I don’t have to stand in front of a crowd and talk about how to change America or become a better leader, I can display through things I love.


Link to Bindi’s performance here! I would definitely take the few minutes to watch.