Kyle's Story

My name is Kyle Jumper-Smith and I am a Detroit native that is a current junior at Bowling Green State University studying Inclusive Early Childhood Education with aspirations of becoming an elementary school principal and leadership facilitator for teacher development. I am also a Robert and Ellen Thompson Scholar in the Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy and have served different roles in my campus community as the Vice President of the university's Black Student Union and current Director of Diversity Affairs for my university's Undergraduate Student Government.

During my first two years at Bowling Green State University I did not believe that I would become the leader that I have become today. I did not know what my purpose was as a leader and how I wanted to make a change in the world. The Center for Leadership assisted me and my journey of understanding that it is perfectly okay to lead from the middle and that the service you can do in the world can truly make a difference to the people who you serve. Another huge takeaway I gained through the retreats, workshops, and beneficial programming was the importance of how the foundation of leadership is truly grounded through relationships. The 1:1 connections and life-long bonds with staff members and constituents within this department is truly motivational and amazing. They push you to be great and put your best foot forward when making decisions. With these motivational pushes I was able to facilitate creative workshops (Serving Lemonade: Beyoncé’s Lemonade and the Social Change Model), meet amazing organizations on campus, establish a food service project in the City of Detroit in honor of the free food program established by The Black Panther Party, and I ultimately became a resource to a lot of students of color within the Bowling Green and Detroit Community.

Being actively involved in the Center for Leadership has impacted my learning tremendously. The lessons taught me how to make ethical decisions, actively listen to my peers and the people in the communities I serve, how to lead with purpose and not for recognition, and how to inspire others to create positive social change in our communities. I am now more confident in public speaking, I can network effectively with my social media, and I am open-minded with a spirit that is ready to serve.

With all the amazing leadership development skills, being a member of the 2014 Cohort, playing an active role as coordinator for Make A Difference In Detroit, and being a Student Leadership Assistant I want to play an active role with education justice and food security. I am inspired to develop a leadership and empowerment series so that scholars from the inner city will be capable of implementing their skills and talents while being a servant leader in their communities in the greater Detroit and Toledo area. My end goal for the program is to incorporate this leadership and empowerment initiative into a curriculum or yearly course for middle and high school students in local cities such as Detroit and Toledo.