• Posted on: December 11, 2006

My Experiences at the Martin Luther King III Summit and Pathway to College Tour

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Lanikque Howard Essay

While the trip that Southwest Airlines generously sponsored was meant only as a college tour, it was an incredible experience that I will never forget. This particular college tour was incredible because intertwined with it, was the amazing opportunity to participate in the Martin Luther King III Summit: Poverty in America and meet with Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

Every second of our day was jammed pack with lessons and adventures. Our guardian/tour guide, Ms. Regina Jackson, stretched herself as thin as she could making sure we saw, experienced and gained everything we could from this trip, from the lunch with Congressman Jesse Jackson to the University of Howard tour, to the trip to New York at six in the morning, to the moment where I trembled with nervousness when she demanded that I get up in front of Martin Luther King III and his panel to restate what I had said in a workshop the previous night. I have never experienced such a state of complete happiness and fulfillment as I did on this trip. I was not only able to represent my community and express my opinions to people I believe could make a difference; I was also able to see campuses of colleges that I have always dreamed about attending. This trip has changed my life from both an education and political standpoint. You can always say that you want to go to a particular institution for college, but there is nothing like being able to see a campus and say this feels like home. I feel the same way regarding the political world that I was introduced to. It’s one thing to see and hear the speeches of our political leaders, but there is nothing that can compare with being able to sit in an intimate setting and have a one on one discussion with them.

Never in my life did I imagine that I would have the opportunities that I had during this trip and for that, I will be eternally grateful to Southwest Airlines and Regina Jackson, because without them, I would have never been able to experience a whole new world.

Lanikque Howard
December 2006

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