Navigating Racial Barriers
Over the course of my lifetime, I have frequently been thrusted into environments that lacked any significant diversity. As a person of color that attended a predominately white institution for the majority of their life, I often felt like an outsider that was trapped in a never ending search for identity and acceptance.
As a child, I remember believing that I would never be fully be accepted by the white community and would forever be labeled a token. My lack of identity took a mental a toll on me, and often left me wondering who was behind the crooked smile that I put on each morning. However, in recent years I have grown more comfortable in my skin, which has increased my confidence and lessened my desire to conform to social expectations of my surroundings. I have discovered the power of my voice and the importance of showing the world all of my capabilities.
Furthermore, when making my college selection I chose Drake University because of The Crew Scholars Program. This minority led program at Drake University provides students of color with a network of support, leadership opportunities, and an outlet to share experiences. The program identifies and values leaders within the community, while pushing minority students to step out of their comfort zone and explore all that Drake University has to offer.
Admission into the program is determined by an incoming student’s academic achievements, two pieces of formal writing, and an assessment of the student’s ability to effectively collaborate with others. I will be forever grateful for the individuals that saw my potential and rewarded me with this opportunity.
The Crew Scholars Program positively impacted my two year of college as I was given vast network of faculty and students that pushed me towards academic excellence. I was awarded the honor of making Drake University’s Deans List my second semester of college as result of the support of my fellow Crew Scholars and my personal resilience.
In the future, I plan to take on a leadership role within the program and serve as an outlet for other students of color who are searching for their own identity within the Drake community. Students of color often struggle adjusting to communities that lack diversity because the inadequate support and guidance. However, I believe I can effectively reach out to my peers and share my experiences to help prepare them for their road ahead.