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The field is nursing and the quoted person is a professor of nursing speaking about her students being trendsetters. I need a transitional sentence to lead up to this quote and speaks to the students being educated to continue on the trendsetting path.

"Students who come here are trendsetters. They want to be one of those change-agents who make a difference."

  • Hi, LoriB. Welcome to ELU. Can you please include some context where the phrase *become a trendsetter" or its replacement would be used? For example, In what field or area would they become trendsetter? – user140086 Jan 29 '16 at 16:09
  • The field is nursing and the quoted person is a professor of nursing speaking about her students being trendsetters. I need a transitional sentence to lead up to the quote. – LoriB Jan 29 '16 at 16:12
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Trailblazer is a synonym that also implies change-agent.

  1. a person who blazes a trail for others to follow through unsettled country or wilderness; pathfinder.
  2. a pioneer in any field of endeavor: a trailblazer in science.
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A slightly weaker word, but related in an interesting way:

bellwether

The typical definition is (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bellwether):

Someone or something that leads others or shows what will happen in the future.

The word comes from a shepherd's putting a bell on the sheep who best indicates what an entire flock will do. This is explained well at www.loridevoti.com/bellwether:

Apparently with sheep there is one sheep called the bellwether and whatever this sheep does all the others follow. The thing is, though, this sheep isn’t a leader—you don’t see him/her leap ahead. She just inches a little this way or that, leading away without it ever being apparent.

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Consider,

trailbreaker

Someone who helps to open up a new line of research, technology, or art Princeton WordNet

groundbreaker

A person who is an originator, innovator, or pioneer in a particular activity. Random House

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