When participants graduate from MCLP, they become a part of a family of alumni, mentors, and community partners, but for mother-daughter duo Tiara Kyail (’19) and Linda Randle (’21), the meaning behind “MCLP Family” goes even more profound.
In 2018, Kyail, an employee at Heartland Community College, began her journey through MCLP.
“I was at a point where I wanted to get more involved with the community, and I thought this was a great program to expose me to different organizations and connect with people who also share that same passion,” says Kyail.
As Kyail moved through the 9-month program, she achieved her goal to become more involved in her community through her project with the Salvation Army. Her achievements and personal growth quickly caught her mother’s attention.
“She was just so inspired as she learned about herself as a leader and expanding what leadership looks like, particularly the concept of a servant leader,” Randle commented. After watching her daughter complete the program and reading all the books Kyail would bring back from MCLP, her mother felt the urge to get involved.
“I’ve been involved in various leadership positions, but after she did it, I was inspired, like ‘oh maybe this is something that I need to do, too!'”
As a seasoned leader, Randle has dedicated her life to empowering those around her—especially women. She volunteers for a small women’s group where she teaches to inspire and empower participants locally. In 2019, Randle was crowned and sashed as Ms. Black America, Sr. by the MMBA (Mr. & Mrs. & Ms. Black America Pageant) on September 20, 2020. Her platform focused on inspiring, educating, and challenging multiple generations of women.
Now, as a member of the MCLP Class of 2021, Linda is sharpening her leadership skills to serve her community. “It’s [MCLP] expanding my knowledge, it’s expanding the way I approach leadership, making me aware of my blind spots,” says Randle about her first few months in the program.
Her daughter has also noticed her growth. “I can hear the wheels turning with her,” Kyail says. “I’m happy to go through MCLP and now [see] her go through it, to continue learning and developing. She has it in her. She’s always had it.”
For Kyail, watching her mother develop as a leader thus far in her MCLP journey reminds her of her younger age.
“The community work is based on the seeds that she planted from back when I was younger,” Kyail says. “Watching her as a child, she was always involved in the community and supporting women. She’s really big on connection, so I always saw her interacting with people and listening to people. That definitely inspired me. That’s why it’s so important for us to make positive impacts in our community because people are watching.”
As for the details? Kyail says she is careful not to give too much away, which Randle appreciates. “She hasn’t given me too much insight…which I kind of like because then I don’t have any preconceived notions based on what she said. I’ll have to see for myself.”
“This is another opportunity for her to gain some more wisdom, share her wisdom, and so I’m excited for what’s to come for her,” Kyail says. She’s always keen to remind her mom that she is there to support her, especially as Randle is just weeks away from midterm presentations, which are on December 10.
She and her mother’s relationship is telling of MCLP’s view on leadership, which in the words of Kyail, is “that you’re never too young or never too old to make changes.”
Story by Gabrielle Ghaderi