"I love doing research, I love being involved in my community especially and I love having my voice heard, having my opinion matter and my actions matter. That’s why I’m here.
"So many of the schools I visited were college towns—literally, it was just the college in the town. I didn’t want to feel barred from my community and the thing I find amazing about being in the Honors College at VCU is the ability to volunteer at the elementary school or go clean up the park or go and feed the homeless or go for research in the community – all that within 15 minutes of walking distance.
"The Honors College has so many programs and ways to get involved. I visited Honduras to help build a school and work with the children there. This spring we learned about the homelessness and poverty situation in Richmond, and about environmental issues. Over the summer I’ll be going to Bolivia to get hands-on experience and see what they’re doing in terms of sustainability with the resources they have, and to apply what I know about homelessness and poverty and sustainable social action to what’s happening there. Then this fall, I’ll take all that experience, all that learning and actually come up with a proposal to implement next spring in terms of alleviating some of these issues Richmond faces.
"Through Honors College, I’m already using my sociology degree before I’ve even earned it. First, to understand cultural relativity in institutions that shape people, and then using my international social justice education to make it culturally relevant to people and their needs and struggles. The Honors College has truly shaped my path in terms of knowing what it is that I want to achieve after school: that is, develop a culturally relative and socially focused educational program for developing countries, specifically in Central and South America.
"The new norm is to be very aware of different people and different stories, be very aware of the environment. The Honors College is such a diverse community; it’s perfect for that."