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Senior Prefect McKenna Littleton Promotes Vulnerability and Gratitude

Emilia Murphy, Editor in Chief of The Vedette

Second Rotation Senior Prefect McKenna Littleton holds up a gratitude journal that she plans to distribute to students at Culver Academies.

 

"Look In to Help Out"

 

Nov. 9, 2022

McKenna Littleton, Culver Girls Academy’s second rotation senior prefect, is ready for change.

The senior from Midlothian, Texas, is encouraging members of CGA to “look in to help out” – Littleton’s theme for the rotation – by creating a supportive community where CGA students feel comfortable opening up about any struggles, especially during the trying winter months at Culver.

“This is the rotation of the year where we usually place a heavy focus on mental health, which I think is warranted. As much as I wish that people did not have to struggle with mental health issues, the unfortunate truth is that a lot of us do,” said Littleton in a speech at the Leadership Transition Ceremony, where she formally took on the role of senior prefect and addressed the CGA student body for the first time. “However, I do not believe that simply talking about mental health in this rotation will be enough”

Littleton acknowledged the role that mental health struggles play on campus, particularly during the winter. Her solution? Opening to others in daily life.

 “I think that what we need is change,” Littleton said. “I’m not talking about big earth-shattering change per se, but I am talking about a small active choice that we can each make for ourselves that will positively affect us and those around us. The choice that I believe will be at the forefront of change is choosing authenticity and vulnerability.”

Choosing authenticity and vulnerability is no easy task; in the words of Littleton: “it is hard to be the first to take that step.” To encourage others, Littleton shared about her own struggles with anxiety, which have been a part of her life since childhood.

“When I was a kid, for a time I couldn’t sleep because of it, and when I did sleep, I had nightmares. But it wasn’t just when I slept. It was when I was at school. It was when I had to run a timed mile. It was when I had an important game, or even simply when I tried something new. I have gotten it under control, but it is something that will for the foreseeable future be a part of my life,” Littleton said.

A large part of Littleton’s mental health journey was journaling.

“I started practicing journaling to become more vulnerable with myself, and it has enabled me to become more authentic with those around me,” she said.

Littleton hopes to share journaling’s positive effects with other members of CGA. Along with the help of Angie Strobel ’98, CGA residential education team leader, she put together a gratitude journal. The gratitude journal, which also serves as a coloring book, provides students with the opportunity to practice gratitude and better understand themselves.

In a show of gratitude, Littleton extended her gratefulness to other leaders in CGA – particularly Jacinta Ndubuisi-Obi, first rotation senior prefect.

“(Jacinta’s) theme of ‘if not you, then who’ has encouraged so many people across this campus, myself included, to put others first, stand up for things that we believe in, and step outside of our comfort zones to try something new or different. I hope to continue to build off of the strong foundation that (she has) laid as we transition into this second leadership rotation,” Littleton said.

 

Second Rotation Senior Prefect McKenna Littleton speaks at the Leadership Transition Ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 6.

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