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News & Stories A longer, more complete description.
News & Stories: Capstone Stories
Capstone Story: Kathy Trujillo
January 16, 2020


As a student, I always believed that learning was complemented and perfected by “doing.” This core belief explains why I was attracted to Claremont Lincoln University’s Masters in Ethical Leadership degree program. From my little corner of the globe, I wanted to be a part of something new, innovative and big! The Claremont Core offered additional assurance that I was embarking on a journey of self-exploration and unveiled to me the unique leadership gifts and abilities I possess. This educational trek has given me the awareness and courage I need to offer my talents to the world with confidence.

My Capstone Action Project helped inspire optimism and enthusiasm in a poorly performing junior high school through the creation of a collaborative stakeholders’ group and a peer mentoring program. By utilizing strengths based leadership principles and the application of Appreciative Inquiry we have helped change the school’s narrative which consisted of spiraling negativity and hopelessness. Our group spent no time wallowing in or focusing on the deficiencies of the school district but immediately went to work identifying the positive attributes of our students, school, and community. We have built a sustainable organization that is improving individual and organizational strengths, creating a more positive school climate and dreaming big about making a local and global impact.

Professors at CLU offered me quality educational scaffolding; demonstrating how to research, analyze and solve problems, and then offering support as I progressed through the program independently. I was consistently persuaded to work outside of my comfort zone and encouraged to create a better version of myself at every turn. I have learned a lot about leadership, followership and the fortitude it takes to remain true to personal values, moral principles and maintain integrity.

Now it is my turn, to give back what I have been given and to strive to influence the next generation of leaders. As I interact with school administrators, stakeholders, students and community members, I am passing on the wisdom that CLU professors shared with me. The Capstone Action Project provided me with the opportunity to influence a diverse group of individuals, who are influencing others and helping shape a more optimistic vision of our future. This is how we put wisdom to work!

Help us empower more students like Kathy to engage to positive social change by donating to the CLU Community Working Together campaign.

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