The Powerful Impact of Role Models
My older sister, Aminah, was one of my early role models. She told me about Emory University and the life-changing education a person could receive at the university when she was accepted to Oxford College at Emory as a graduating senior from high school.
Although Aminah did not finish college at Oxford because our family could not afford to keep her there, she worked multiple jobs, played basketball, and eventually graduated from Clark Atlanta University. Aminah taught me to persevere, never give up, and look after others as she became a teacher.
Years later, when I was admitted to Emory’s Business School, Aminah was right about the transformative learning experience I would have at Emory. The academics helped me with the business side of running organizations, and the adversities I overcame in a rigorous executive academic environment helped me grow as a leader.
As I reflect on my time at Emory, I am grateful for my academic experience and the volunteer opportunities that expand my learning experience as an alumnus. The 1915 Fellows Program will remain with me forever. While volunteering for the program, I saw my sister's struggles reflected in the eyes of the participants.
As Emory organized its first DE&I strategic plan, I participated on the planning committee and supported the development of plan recommendations for recruiting and retaining historically underrepresented students at Emory.
As one of my first role models, my older sister, Aminah, shaped my perceptions and my life journey. Today, I am thankful for the power of role models and the people they inspire to create possibilities for others.