Jaclyn Dunn is a journalism major in the Department of Communication and Journalism in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University. She is participating in a community and civic engagement practicum with Bridge Builders Alabama, a dynamic two-year program that works with students from public, private, parochial, and home schools. It works to develop high school students into future leaders who will lay aside individual, social, economic, and cultural differences to work for the benefit of all.
“The first challenge in developing a future leader is knowing how to set a good example. ‘Lead by example,’ is how we worded it during Bridge Builders. I had to be able to put aside social, economic, cultural and most importantly, individual differences in order to facilitate the high school juniors. The next challenge was getting the students to understand why they were there. Obviously, they were taught the Bridge Builder motto, but saying it and living it are two totally different things. Honestly, I do not think of my time spent during junior week as me developing ‘future leaders who will lay aside individual, social, economic and cultural differences to work for the benefit of all.’ I saw myself more as a person who gave students the tools to use to develop themselves into future leaders. I shared my knowledge as a member of the Bridge Builder family and gave high school juniors the choice to use it however they chose.”