“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”
Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) was an educator who inspired many with her social activism. Born in South Carolina to former slaves, Mary valued the education she received and began to give back. In 1904 she founded a school for African American girls in Daytona Beach, which eventually became the Bethune-Cookman College. Mary served as its president for over 40 years, working to ensure a high standard of education and proper funding. She founded the National Council of Negro Women in 1935 and served as the vice-president of the NAACP for 15 years. Her work was noticed by President Franklin Roosevelt, to whom she served as a counselor on child welfare and as an advisor regarding issues facing African Americans.