What was your favorite class and how has it influenced your further course of study?
It's hard to choose one favorite class—I've had so many. I'm partial toward my "Religion and Black Freedom" Struggle class in my first semester as it has impacted how not only how I see the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s, but the present movement we see in BlackLivesMatter. What I've learned in this class though has informed how I've approached my work in Education classes such as "Schools in American Cities", where I've explored ideas such as culturally relevant pedagogy, or "Introduction to Creative Writing", where my stories have been grounded in experiences unique to people of color.
Why did you choose your major/minor/concentration? What influenced you to pursue this course of study?
I decided to major in English as it's always been a passion of mine. The command of language has the power to illuminate so many hidden truths. Education has interested me because of the opportunity gap faced by kids where I am originally from, compared to where I was primarily schooled (Springfield Township). And creative writing? I believe everyone has a story. Creative writing allows me to write my thoughts and feelings, and for my reader to get a sense of connectedness and community when they are able to relate.
Did you have a summer experience (research, internship, travel) that was connected to your classwork or thesis project? If so, how did that experience change what you thought about your course of study or influence your plans for the future?
This summer, I was an RA for the Chesick Scholar's Program. I got to spend five weeks over the summer with sixteen incoming first-year students. The program, in its fifth year, is designed for students from either underrepresented, first in their family to attend college, or under-resourced backgrounds to come into Haverford following an intensive summer where students take courses and engage with faculty mentors that will follow them over their four years. As an RA, I got to spend a lot of time with the students outside of their academic endeavors, and really get to know them all personally. Their backgrounds and stories made me laugh, cry and ultimately inspired me. In terms of course of study, it really solidified that in my Education courses, I wanted to explore access to higher education for all people, and via Creative Writing, give these stories, as well as my own, a vehicle for communicating sentiments and feelings from people in these spaces.
What surprised you most about your course of study or what would others be most surprised by about your course of study?
I think I came into Creative Writing with a mindset that I wanted to write because it seemed cool to do. I've come to realize that's not enough though—I needed lived experience. My most powerful stories are sort-of introspective odysseys that come from things deeply thinking about my life experiences, or the lives of those around me.
What do you hope to do after graduating from Haverford?
After graduation, I hope to pursue degrees in Public Policy and Law, with the hopes of doing nonprofit work, and community work in communities of color. I will hope to capture my experiences through my writing, be it contributing think pieces to news outlets, or compiling my work for a book.