Nelson Mandela's Grandson Visits Schools In Westchester, Encourages Students To Serve Community

Students at two Westchester schools were treated to a visit from the grandson of famed activist and politician Nelson Mandela, who encouraged them to take some time to give back to their communities and stand up for others. 

Ndaba Mandela speaks with students in Mount Vernon. 

Ndaba Mandela speaks with students in Mount Vernon. 

Photo Credit: Mount Vernon City School District

Ndaba Mandela, the grandson of former South African President Nelson Mandela, visited the Nelson Mandela/Dr. Hosea Zollicoffer School and Mount Vernon High School on Tuesday, Nov. 21, Mount Vernon City School District officials announced.

During his visits to the schools, Mandela discussed his grandfather's legacy and his activism efforts and also participated in a roundtable discussion with high school students. 

He also told students about Mandela Day, during which people celebrate Nelson Mandela's 67 years of public service by spending 67 minutes giving back to their communities. The celebration is held each year on Nelson Mandela's birthday, July 18. 

Part of Mandela's visit also included taking questions from students that they had prepared with teachers. He encouraged students to listen to their parents and teachers and spoke about what true leadership is, district officials said. 

"It’s all about giving back to your community, about being in service to others,” Mandela told students, also adding, "Being a leader is not about being the best. Being a leader is not about being number one. Being a leader is about serving and giving service to those who can’t serve themselves and standing up and being a voice for people who can’t be a voice for themselves.” 

Mount Vernon Acting Superintendent Dr. K. Veronica Smith spoke highly of Mandela's visit. 

"We understand that so many individuals today still struggle, but we have people like the descendants of Nelson Mandela to carry his legacy, to speak with youth, to talk about youth empowerment and to talk about education and what that means in terms of where you can end up one day," Smith said. 

Mandela is the co-founder and chairman of the Mandela Institute for Humanity and is also the founder of the television show "The Mandela Project," for which he was nominated for an International Emmy. 

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