Posted by: Academy of Achievement | 06/13/2011

Shad White, Class of 2008

Truman Scholar and Rhodes Scholar

Harvard Law School

In 2008, I was honored to attend the Achievement Summit in Hawaii. At the time, I had just graduated from the University of Mississippi as a Truman Scholar and had never been further west than Texas. Life has been a whirlwind since then, to be sure. After that summer I started to work at the Pew Charitable Trusts with a remarkable and talented group focusing on early education policy in the various states around the country.

Midway through that year in DC, I was fortunate enough to interview for and receive the Rhodes Scholarship. I finished my year at Pew, packed my things, took a last-minute college tour road trip with my little sister who was finishing high school, and then left for England. Oxford was a beautiful, life-changing experience. I learned by leaps and bounds, and made real, meaningful connections to other people that will last my whole life.

These days I am back home in Mississippi. While I was putting the finishing touches on my dissertation for Oxford, I moved back home to work as policy director for a successful Congressional campaign and then later in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of my state. When my boss made the decision to run for Governor, I moved over to his campaign and am serving as Deputy Campaign Manager. This fall I’ll leave the campaign after the primary to start at Harvard Law School. The days on the campaign are long, but I still frequently look down at my cell phone background to see a picture of the Hawaii horizon that I took while at the Summit. It brings back some fond memories. Most of my friends here still don’t believe I met Taylor Swift there!

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