Kirby Jones, ՚19, says one of her greatest strengths is her ability to see the best in others and work with them to cultivate that potential. As an English major, Teaching Fellow, and Legacy Scholar she has had many opportunities to learn more about herself and become a stronger leader.
Her freshman year she completed an internship with Young People For (YP4), a national organization that helps students implement a community action plan for social justice, then she completed a research opportunity in religion and literature that made her more culturally aware.
While at Meredith, Kirby also participated in the Sophie Lanneau Women’s Leadership Development Program, an independent, self-paced program that helps students explore theories related to leadership and social change.
“Reading articles, writing reflections, and participating in various service activities on and off campus allowed me to delve into my passion for community,” says Kirby. “I worked closely with my mentor on campus, Catie McAnulty, to reflect on my progress in the program, hone in my areas of strength, and continue to grow as a leader.”
Last summer Kirby attended the Breakthrough Teaching Fellow Collaborative in Austin, Texas, and it solidified her passion for advocating for people, as well as women’s rights.
Breakthrough is an organization that seeks to empower middle and high school students from under-resourced communities who are headed to college. It also offers a residency for teaching fellows, and professional teachers serve as instructional coaches giving all of them the ability to be agents of change in their communities. During her residency, Kirby designed and taught an elective course on poetry and social change.
“I loved building relationships with the students and encouraging them to identify and develop their own strengths,” says Kirby. “And the class I designed I had one student, so I was able to have many meaningful opportunities to share our writing with each other and have powerful conversations about what it means to be a young woman in today’s world. It was empowering.”
Kirby has always been a strong advocate for women’s rights, but attending Meredith College and seeing the strength of her peers firsthand has made her more dedicated to removing barriers that inhibit an individual’s strength from being realized.
“In my opinion, the excellent education faculty, leadership opportunities, and the relationships I have built are strong. Meredith teachers are one of a kind, and I feel honored to join their ranks.”
Learn more about the Meredith Legacy Scholarship
Explore Meredith’s Teaching Fellows program