Graduation calls: “I’ve got to get out of here”

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In 2017, I walked into UM-Dearborn with confidence since I had previous college experience during high school. My eyes were on the goal and that was to graduate with my journalism degree as fast as I could. I knew what I wanted to do with my life and I knew I wanted to join every single club. 

So I did. I became a member of the Black Student Union, Women in Learning and Leadership, Public Relations Student Society of America, the Xi Phi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the Michigan Journal, Elegance Fashion, Orientation, NPHC, the Greek Unity Council and there’s so many more that I could list. I can’t believe no one stopped me from joining all of these things. 

I also did internships at Model D Media, Garden City Hospital and WDIV-Local 4. I won awards on campus — Intern of the Year 2017, Emerging Leader 2018 and 2019 UM-Dearborn Difference Maker. I’m featured on campus advertisements, videos and covering the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters social media pages. 

Soon, I lessened my organization involvement so that I could create a greater impact. I became the Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Journal and president of the Xi Phi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. 

There were so many people that led me to this point:

I thank my parents because without them, I, of course, wouldn’t be here. They have given me so much guidance to be the person that I am today. I will call them with the dumbest questions and they will still take the time to answer because they care about my success — even if it’s just about whether I should go to Kroger or Meijer. I love them both with all my heart. Thank you for believing and trusting me. Because of you, I can be anything that I want to be. Thank you to my grandparents as well for giving me unconditional love.

Jalen Rose kept me going this entire time. Without his daily support and motivational speeches, I don’t know where I would be. Thank you for being weird with me every single day. I have so much love and care for you. 

My friends are the only reason I stayed on campus for so many hours. Let’s be honest, they’re the only reason I got homework done. My study partners and the ones that like to take breaks all the time gave me very diverse study habits. I’m so grateful for all of you. 

I’m grateful to be able to join Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Becoming president of the Xi Phi Chapter was something that was totally unexpected. But I learned so much. I am a better leader because of this organization. I would like to thank my Sorors for supporting me since 2018.

Thank you to the 2018-2019 Michigan Journal team for believing in me. On October 8, 2018, I received an email from Ziad Buchh that said: “I wanted to let you know that we have openings for news and copy editor. As a senior journalism student, I feel like you’d be a good fit for either role.” It was quite a convincing email, as you can tell. I became the copy editor, and with the severe pressure from my lovely friends Ziad, Aubree, Brighid, Alex, Dylan, Phillip and Nicole, I decided that I would accept the Editor-in-Chief position.

It has been the most work in the world, especially with being the leader of two student organizations. But I’m thankful to everyone who continued to push me. So I would like to express a huge thank you to Kyla Bazzy, Kinsey Burnett, Leah Higgins, Jasmine Sizemore, Drew Dykowski, Maya Hamka, Rayvon Miles-Smith and Franz Knight. You all kept me on my toes and this paper would not be successful if it weren’t for you all. I hope that you will all continue to thrive in your unique, individual and amazing ways.

My quote for this semester has been “I’ve got to get out of here,” but I really just want to run away from the academic side of things. My campus involvement has changed who I am since day one and this only happened due to the people who were constantly surrounding me. 

Thank you to all teachers, professors, internship advisors, mentors and school employees that has been a part of my journey since KINDERGARTEN:

April Shock, Jennifer Pfeil, Nicole Raphael, Sue Fenker, Jason Malloy, Joe Guillen, Sheena Slavicek, The Dixon Family, Sarah Azarovitz, Sarah Greene, Candace Robertson, Jessica Wood, Danielle Rae, Julie Donahue, Brittany Ray, Ashley Carol, Tamika Riley, Sam Rosewig, Dena Blair, Thronton Perkins, Judy McGovern, Angela Davis, Diana McKnight-Morton, Greg Taylor, Tim Kiska, Tony Luckett, Elizabeth Clark, Amy Finley, Aryka Rice, Jessica Bixby, Shareia Carter, Brendan Gallagher, Blake Bonkowski, N’Kenge Gonzalez, James Schaefer, Keisha Blevins, Rand Beech, Caitlin Parker, Leah Olajide, Veronica Johnson, Kevin Williams, Edward Kar, Eboni Turnbow, Greg Peoples, Glenna Frank Miller, Jim Gilmore, Dr. Francine Banner, Nina Loveberry, Renee Mainor, Leslie Fleming, Lynn Giovannini, Koco McAboy, Joe Prince, John Pompeo, Meaghan St. Pierre, Kelley Kosuda, Sarah Mayberry Morawski, Ben Bell, Karen Drew, Bria Brown, Brian Waters, Vincent McCraw, Bee Brown, Carolyn Clifford, Tashawna Gill, My Sorors: Kimberly Webb-Horsley, Dionne Davis, Kelly James, Ivy Fields-Releford, Carrie Clark, Deborah Macon, etc. 

I have accepted a position at MLive in Ann Arbor as a Reporting Intern beginning in January 2020.