3 Charlotteans made history

Three prominent Charlotteans visited First Ward Elementary on Friday as part of a national day of service in the African-American community.

Former ballerina Ayisha McMillan, bank executive Lenny Springs and journalist Mary Curtis shared their life stories and encouraged students to value education. Their visit was coordinated by The HistoryMakers, a nonprofit oral history project. Across the country, 400 leaders in the black community visited 200 schools.

McMillan has danced professionally with the Houston Ballet and the North Carolina Dance Company, where she became the first black woman to play Clara in “The Nutcracker.”

Springs had a long career with First Union and Wachovia and is now the CEO of consulting firm The S-Group Inc. Curtis worked at the Baltimore Sun and The New York Times before spending 14 years at The Charlotte Observer. She now works as a freelance journalist and national correspondent.

Andrew Dunn