My name is Don Trowell, and I am senior at Fern Creek High School (FCHS) in Louisville, KY. Although, joining NGLN has been an amazing experience, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am in without my inclusion in groups such as LIFT: KY, led by Stan Torzewski of the Hope Street Group, and WTS: KY, led by Kip Hottman in the FCHS division of the program. I am also strongly involved in groups and associations such as the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence’s Student Voice Team (PCSVT) led by Rachel Belin and high school student president, Zachariah Sippy. Additionally, creating the Black Student Union alongside fellow, “NGLN’ers,” Jaylen Gordon and Khamari Brooks in our high school, while serving as the president of the Pep Club and active member of the student body, has allowed me to have opportunities to join an organization like the Breadloaf NGLN.


The Next Generation Leadership Network, provided students, Rameka Johnson, Robert Spencer, Akwelle Quaye, and myself a platform for us to go and present and connect with educators, researchers, and vital figures that have impact on southern education. Moreover, we were all able to listen and understand the adversity that southern education faces everyday. The conference was kickstarted by Melissa Harris-Perry, former television and radio personality, and President of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker. Although these people talked about issues against southern education, they also spoke on issues that face African Americans especially, in the south. The entire conference was well-versed and professional, to uphold the importance of such a vital issue in the nation, and allowing students to attend and showcase the current edition of what education looks like in the south (Kentucky especially).


I want to give a special thanks with all the gratitude I can stretch forward, to Mrs. Dixie, Breadloaf college, and the NGLN Foundation (and also anyone that had any responsibility in this taking place). This experience was worthwhile and educational, especially considering that the mentors and adult figures that attended the meeting were able to receive so much from our voices as students, as young leaders, and as advocates for the issues that haven’t been discussed for a very long time. So, once again I would love to thank you all again for the opportunity and the chance!

Don Trowell

One Response to “

  • Hi Don,

    Tom McKenna here in Juneau, Alaska. I do communications work for the Bread Loaf Teacher Network, and I help to guide the BLTN NextGen Leadership Network.. It’s great to get to know you a bit through your post about the Southern Education Foundation conference. Sure wish I had been there with you all .

    Can you give us a sense of any ideas that you all are talking about in Louisville, in connection with the conference? I’d love to know what’s alive in your conversation circles, and what work might be influenced by those conversations.

    I hope to visit Fern Creek some day. I’ve always been impressed with young people I”ve met from your school, and with the education leaders there.

    Hope you’re enjoying a good holiday break!


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