Note: This is a guest post.

Mary Jane McLeod was born on July 10, 1875 and died on May 18, 1955. She had an extraordinary life due to her special mind and soul and everything that she was able to invent during her lifetime. Her special inventions have remained in history and many people have admired her in time for what she has succeeded to achieve in a lifetime. For those who might not be familiar with whom Mary Jane McLeod was before she became a famous inventor, it should be mentioned the fact that she was a great American educator who first of all became famous for the school she started for African American students. The school was started in Florida, in Daytona Beach.

She also became famous for being able to become the most important adviser of the famous president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Her place of birth is South Carolina and important to mention as well is the fact that her parents were actually slaves and could not help her very much but they supported her as much as it was humanly possible for them to become able to get herself a proper education. Mary Jane McLeod always tried her best to obtain school funding and always tried to make educated African-Americans become famous worldwide so as to prove simply how important education is and what it can help people achieve. Another important activity in which she showed great interest is the women’s clubs and her presence there made a difference because she became the leader of most of them in short time due to the way in which she could always come up with innovative and effective ideas and of seeing things and making them effective at all times. She was also one of the famous members enrolled in the Black Cabinet ruled by Roosevelt and always showed great interest in the situation of the black people whom she always considered among the most important Republican voters.

Mary Jane McLeod is famous nowadays for what she has succeeded in achieving during her life, for her struggle to put good ideas to good use and make sure people living worldwide have the right to be educated and to be respected no matter the place from where they might be. The first of her most important inventions is the substantial institution that she was able to create, namely the Educational and Industrial Daytona Training School for Negro Girls. The school was began on October 3, 1904 and had only five girls enrolled in the beginning. The important thing that has always helped Mary Jane McLeod go on with her plans was her strong faith in divinity and in what she had always wanted to achieve. She cared for the people who were not able to offer themselves an education opportunity. She cared for the girls who had an unfavorable social status, the same as she had in childhood and wanted to help them be educated and show that educated people can achieve great things no matter what the color of their skin might be. She believed that people are good and that through education they can achieve great things. This is what helped her always move on with her projects, always think for the future and achieve great things this way.

For her teaching at this institution, Mary Jane McLeod considered topics for the curriculum from various areas of interest such as reading, arithmetic, spelling and writing, cooking and certainly religion. She also taught those girls the necessary skills for cleaning and sewing, which were in fact highly mandatory those days. She based her teaching on both theoretical and practical knowledge and always tried to make her students first of all believe in themselves, in their power to become great people by being well educated and with a pure heart. She had an amazing strength to continue with this project even when there was not much that she could possibly do or better said when there were no resources left to continue it. She never gave up because she knew she had to do everything she could so as to offer her students a change to live properly, to be educated.

Mary Jane McLeod did her best to support this invention as much as she could. She gained money from tourists and invested it all in her institution. Starting from scratch but with a strong person there to lead it, the institution invented by Mary Jane McLeod grew in time and it was relocated to the Second Avenue. In 1910 there were already 102 students attending her school. In the following years, more and more students enrolled and in 1923 there were already 315 students enrolled there and the institution had become a famous one due to the way in which students enrolled there struggled to make a future for themselves through education. What Mary Jane McLeod believed in from the beginning of her invention was the success that would be achieved by always basing her teaching and leadership on job training as well as Christianity concepts and mastery of basic knowledge and skills for the future of her students. She also considered important elements related to vocationalism so as to enable the training of her students for jobs that they could find on the marketplace at the given time.

Another important invention that should be mentioned when discussing the life of Mary Jane McLeod refers to the maintenance of the hospital between 1912 and 1927 in that region. That hospital was maintained due to the way in which she succeeded in helping her students become nurses via the special training programs established at her school. She did her best to always establish innovative training programs that might offer a great variety of opportunities for the students that were attending courses at her school and for those who might plan on making their life better through education.

In 1923, Mary Jane McLeod continued her list of inventions by establishing a junior college with the main purpose of designing higher standards for teachers. This was achieved through the merger of the Cookman Institute in Jacksonville with her former school. Starting in 1925, the next couple of years were difficult for the inventor of this junior college form a financial point of view. Expenses had raised a lot and it became harder and harder for her to follow her dreams and keep the school ruled by the same qualitative guidelines and characterized by the same great standards she has imposed in the beginning. With high efforts from her part, she succeeded in obtaining funds for her schools and save them from bankruptcy. In 1935 the school was already in a much better situation.

Also a significant invention can be considered what Mary Jane McLeod succeeded in doing as the president of the Federation of Colored Women from 1920 to 1925. She gave black women the necessary voice to express their aspirations and enable their opportunities. In the years that followed Mary Jane McLeod also succeeded in achieving a lot due to her ambition, knowledge, and power of though and accessibility to the White House. She never gave up, she never changed her beliefs and she always pursued her dreams. She believed in people, she wanted to help them achieve better things through education and she succeeded in doing everything she planned because her mind and soul never gave up on anything. She was highly appreciated by famous politicians and by common people who recognized in her a great woman fighting for their rights.

In the 1950s she retired but remained an active symbol of honesty, dignity and great achievement. She had received high tributes during her life as well as numerous honorary types of degrees that were offered to her as a symbol of appreciation for everything she succeeded in doing for people living besides her and trusting her every step. She died on May 18, 1955 but she remained alive in the souls of the people whom she had helped during her life and through her inventions that are still famous. Her inventions have started great paths for the education and are still followed nowadays. She is a great example of dignity and achievement in history and should never be forgotten.