In the fall of my freshman year ('05), I was a Texas transplant on WKU's campus. Within the first few months, I quickly realized WKU was the perfect fit for me. Small class sizes allowed professors time to meaningfully engage with all their students. The unique and diverse Bowling Green community afforded me spaces to explore slam poetry, volunteer with at-risk youth, and take violin lessons.
I was able to maintain a competitive GPA, which landed me on the Dean's List three times and recognized as a Black Graduate Honoree. Due to my academic standing and interests in working with youth, I secured an internship with the U.S Department of Defense's Youth Enrichment Services, which gave me the opportunity to live and work in Hawaii and Germany immediately following my graduation from WKU. Afterwards, I returned to my home state of Texas to teach special education through the Dallas New Teacher Project. Later that year, I was accepted into the 2011 Teach For America-Chicago cohort, which brought me to the Windy City. I taught my 9th grade English students how to construct arguments and support their claims using evidence and research. Also during this time, I coached an urban debate team as an effort to provide at-risk youth an educational outlet outside the purview of classes. After my TFA commitment, I helped open a school on the city's West Side—a traditionally crime and poverty stricken area of town. Within the first year, I saw students experience atypical success for children on the West Side as they raised their GPAs, engaged in community service, and persevered through rigorous college prep courses. Teach for America acknowledged my leadership skills and gave me a generous scholarship to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where I'm currently pursuing a Master's in School Leadership. I also serve as the Co-President of the Harvard Black Graduate Student Alliance.
My ability to effectively communicate across differences, take agency to create change, and exercise adaptive leadership stems from the skills I garnered from WKU. I am forever grateful for my time on the hill, and don't believe I would be anywhere near where I am now without it. The spirit truly does make the master.