Mastering Your Story: Lessons from a Leadership Coach

Shayna Hammon

I will never forget my first day of first grade in small-town Michigan. I woke up excited to wear my brand new backpack and meet my teacher. Dad walked me to the bus and coached me on what to expect when I got to school. I was bursting with excitement, but my hopes for the year were dashed the moment the bus door closed behind me. As I stood at the top of the aisle scanning for a seat, every single child moved to the outer edge of his or her seat as if to say, “you can’t sit here.” The message was clear: I wasn’t welcome. It only got worse from there as my schoolmates lambasted me with unthinkable slurs. Some kids yelled them out, some simply whispered them under their breath, and not a single soul came to my rescue.    (more…)