You have an aspiration to start your own non-profit organization. Tell us what that looks like.
I think there is work that we can do on a local level to develop ambitious students from high schools that are socioeconomically disadvantaged to not only get to college, but to be well-rounded and succeed when they get there. Federal programs that are designed to assist individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in obtaining opportunities for higher education are facing incredible budget cuts. Ideally, this non-profit organization would focus on making higher education more accessible for these students by providing culturally relevant, free-of-cost academic and mentoring resources over the span of three years beginning in their ninth grade academic year. The goal is to equip students with the skills necessary to succeed beyond college admission in order to reduce dropout rates, and address the learning gap that frequently lands students from marginalized backgrounds in remedial college courses.
You are from Oklahoma City. Why did you choose OU?
I saw people that looked like me on staff. Paola Lopez, then a representative for OU Diversity Enrichment Programs, visited Santa Fe South and shared her personal journey to college with a group relatively disinterested high school students. I was among them. She was the first person to present college as a feasible option for me, and not only walked me through the application and financial aid process, but convinced me that there was a team of people rooting for me at OU.
What are you most excited about your upcoming move to Philadelphia?
Cheesesteaks, hoagies, soft pretzels & wooder ice! Haha. Truthfully, the possibilities to work with a multitude of high schools that serve the kind of students I want to devote my life work to.
What will you miss most about Norman?
My mentors and the pace of life. Both the OU and the local community, are so for you. They spend time building you up in a number of diverse ways, and I am grateful to have spent the last four years in this space.
What was the most interesting thing you got to do when serving as the Multicultural Greek Council President?
We adopted CASP, a local non-profit organization, and collected books for their literacy programs and executed a fall festival for their elementary-aged students. This was the first time the council did something like this. It was exceptionally inspiring to see the impact of this school-community partnership, and what it meant for their organization to develop a relationship with the multicultural community at OU.