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Alumni Spotlight: Nigel Washington

Nigel Washington, a graduate of Chamblee Charter High School (2011) and of Bard College (2015), is an entrepreneur who owns a video production company known as Means of Production. While in high school Nigel participated in two of our summer leadership institutes. He recently volunteered and donated his time and services during the 2022 Fall Summit “The leadership skills I gained through 21CL gave me the foundation and the confidence to start my own business and become a community leader .” ~Nigel Washington

Paint a brief picture about yourself and what you are doing now

I currently own and operate a video production company, Means of Production LLC. which creates video and social media content for different organizations including DeKalb County Television, DeKalb Entertainment Commission, God Is Dope, and many more. I started this business in 2017 after graduating from college and being frustrated by not being able to find a job in the media industry.

When were you in high school and which 21CL programs did you participate in?

I went to Chamblee Charter High School from 2008-2011 and I participated in two 21CL summer leadership institutes, the G5 (currently known as the Summer Youth Leadership Institute @ Goizueta Business School at Emory University) and the “Leadership: Plugged In” (currently known as Warner Bros. Discovery Future Leaders Institute) at Georgia Institute of Technology; they both had great impact on me!

How has your career unfolded and how did participating in 21CL help prepare you for your next steps going to college, taking on a new leadership role in community/college and after?

The leadership skills I gained through 21CL gave me the foundation and the confidence to start my own business and become a community leader via my involvement with organizations like The Posse Foundation and the Decatur Business Association. Through the 21CL trainings I was inspired to pursue a film degree in college and to create my own media company; and while applying for college scholarships, 21st Century Leaders stood out on my resume and helped me obtain the Posse Full-Tuition Leadership Scholarship to Bard College; so, my benefits from 21st Century Leaders are many!

What’s your memorable or ‘aha’ moment during your time at 21CL? (Particular program, meeting a professional and diverse peer, speaking in public for the first time, etc.?)

It’s more than 10 years since I attended 21CL programs so I don’t remember all the details but what stuck out was a speech I heard from a speaker at one of the institutes. She told us that we all have a unique story and if we look back on our life at what we were naturally attracted to as a child, this could lead us to our true passions and gifts that we could utilize in our professional life!

Did 21CL assist you in developing a leadership style that makes you an effective leader? If so, how? And have you recently learned something else about leadership? Please share!

21CL taught me to be authentic and confident no matter how uncomfortable it may feel! When you are authentic and confident it inspires other people to also be their authentic selves and it makes the world a much better place for all.

What advice would you give to a current or future student?

I would give the same advice I received during my 21CL days- look back on your life growing up and see what you were naturally drawn to and it will help you find your passion in life.

How would you describe 21CL in three words?