Each One Teach One is one of my favorite proverbs. The phrase originated during slavery, African Americans were denied the right to any type of education. Whenever someone did learn how to read, it was their responsibility to teach someone else. Although we live in a time where people have access to education, this proverb is still very applicable today.
Throughout my college career, I volunteered as a mentor to girls from 6th-8th grade from two Detroit Public Schools. The girls would come to Michigan State University every other Saturday for about 6 hours. During the session we would have discussions and activities focusing on self worth, bullying, social awareness, education and planning for the future. The program was for the girls but it made a profound impact on my life and emphasized the importance of “Each One, Teach One.”
One of my favorite lessons was talking to the girls about the stock market. Watching the girls go from not know anything about the market to understanding the difference between a bull and bear market and being able to identify the different effects of economic indicators was one of the most fulfilling college experiences. In another lesson the girls worked with NSBE to make slime and learned why Elmer’s glue reacted to the borax. These activities provided the girls with the exposure necessary to form aspirations and look outside of the media for role models.
Unfortunately, not all girls are exposed to college or the multitude of careers available to them. They are forced to dream with walls, which is the crux of “Each One Teach One.” When one girl is limited, we are all limited. It is our responsibility to reach back and help tear down the walls by showing them endless opportunities and supporting their dreams.
As a young professional, it is so easy to have tunnel vision to your own success while trying to maintain everything else in your life. If you think about it, we have all been able to accomplish our goals because someone took the time to teach us. I hope this proverb resonates with you and encourages you to take time and invest in a young girl’s life. I promise you will not regret it.
Britney Holloway is a recent Michigan State University graduate majoring in Finance and Economics. At the end of summer, she will join Northern Trust’s leadership development program. In 2012 Britney began a personal options trading account, which has averaged a 25% return this year. In addition to her personal trading, she also writes a blog providing market commentary and position explanations for college students interested in the financial markets. Outside of finance, Britney is dedicated to community involvement and social awareness. Throughout her college career, she was an undergraduate coordinator for Daughters of the Collective(DOC). DOC focuses on mentoring 7th and 8th grade girls from Detroit Public Schools and plans to expand the program to Chicago Public Schools. You can read her blog at BritReport.blogspot.com or follow her on twitter @TheBritReport.