Wow, I cannot believe that I am an official graduate of Hinds Community College. To this day, I still look back on the day in kindergarten when my teacher Mrs. Stewart asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up and my response was that I was going to graduate high school, go to Ole Miss and then medical school. As Hinds would end up being the first detour along the way to destination future, I am proud of my accomplishments up to this point. I encourage new Hinds students to be involved on campus and take advantage of all the opportunities offered.
Me in Kindergarten with Stewie the bear :)
Instead of going straight to Ole Miss, I was informed about an honors program at Hinds Community College in Raymond. I would later go with my dad to register for classes. At the time, I thought I would be commuting back and forth between school and home. After I turned in my cap and gown after high school graduation, I was told of a Resident Assistant (RA) postion that would guarantee housing for me at Hinds.
Unlike most students who get a feel of the school after classes start, I moved into Marshall Hall a few weeks prior for RA training. Although being an RA is time consuming, I managed to be involved in other campus orginizations such as RHA, ASG, honors program, public relations and biology club. Each of these orginizations benefitted me as a person and helped mold me into the person I am today.
Where did I find the time to be so involved on campus? As a college student, we must learn time management and I improved managing my time over the past two years.
My first semester as a writer for the Hindsonian, introduced me to faculty, staff, and other students who are a part of the Hinds family. This helped me in other orginizations as well, and I learned to communicate with people I didn't know well. I enjoyed writing for the newspaper and I know that I can look back on this and know I have improved not only in communication with others, but also as a writer.
RHA opened up many doors for me. It was my membership in RHA that paved the way for my future endeavors. Over the past two years, I have been to both Ole Miss and Mississippi State University in order to attend MREAL leadership conferences. My first year attending would be the first time I would step foot onto the Ole Miss campus and I knew that it is exactly where I want to go after graduating from Hinds. Athough this was a good experieince, nothing could prepare me for what accomplishments I would have at MSU. While attending the MREAL conference at MSU this past February, I was introduced to a Housing Department falculty member from Ole Miss who works with the RAs, I was elected as the 2013-2014 Associate Director of Communications. The following weekend I went to an interview at Ole Miss and was hired as a RA.
In ASG, I completed over 200 service hours while being involved in community service activities such as volunteering at the Stew Pot, Bethlahem Daycare Center, and Tour De Cure. I was sworn in as Vice President for the 2012-2013 school year. During that time, I worked alongside President Javarian Richards in helping improve Hinds and provide our service to the community. I left with many memories. I had the honor to receive the Joe Cooper Service Award. If I had the chance to live these three semesters over again, I would not hesistate.
Last, but not least, the highlight of my college experience would be studying abroad in England. While growing up, I had only been to a few close states for field trips or family related trips, and I never thought I would go any further. During Spring Break my last semester, I spent a few days with my host family and several days in a hotel in London. While on this trip, we were not confined to classes, but had the chance to see so much more. My favorite part of the trip was going to see a play. It felt weird knowing that I saw a major theatre production in England before visiting Broadway in New York. If it was not for Hinds, I doubt I would have ever had the chance to enjoy an experience such as this.
I cannot help but think back on all that I have learned and accomplished since my admission at Hinds. If not for Hinds and the people here who have helped me along the way, I would not have had so many opportunities. I can without a doubt say that no matter what goal you may have for your future, Hinds is the perfect place to start.
Me and my mother the night I graduated from High School
Me with the other ASG officers during our final meeting of our Hinds career.
It looks like school is in full swing again. February stuck up on us quickly! Where did those short weeks of Christmas break go? For me, they were very busy as well. I rang in the New Year with friends and my mom on December 31 and said sayonara to 2012. Then I spent the first four days of the new year at the Georgia Dome for Passion 2013, the largest Christian convention in the world.
Starting in 1997 in Austin, Texas by Louie Giglio, the conferences' main purpose is to unite Christian college students in worship and prayer. Passion is also know as the 268 Generation, the name coming from Isaiah 26:8, "Yes Lord, walking in the way of Your truth we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and renown are the desire of our souls." Passion '97 started with one conference and two thousand college students. Now, Passion 2013 sold out the Georgia Dome with 60,000 students and Passion has gone international on all six inhabited continents.
Passion is famous for their worship team, which is comprised of many contemporary Christian artists and bands such as Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Christy Nockels, Colton Dixon, Lacrae, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Redman, and many others. Every year these artists debut their brand new music for the first time at the conference. Well-known evangelists in the Christian culture also play a key role in Passion, speaking during the week. Speakers from the January 2013 conference include John Piper, Beth Moore, Francis Chan, Judah Smith, as well as Louie Giglio.
A specific purpose of Passion is to raise awareness about issues that are not well known in the world today. Passion 2013's main cause was and still is the "End It Movement", which focuses on modern day slavery.
Slavery is at an all time high in the world today. There are 27 million men, women, and children in slavery right now. These forms of slavery include forced labor in stone and brick mills, sweat shops, brothels, and even in private homes where servants are abused. Fifty percent of these slaves are children as young as four years old. The United States is not exempt from this problem. Many women and children are trafficked into American daily. As an American society, many of us think, "Well, they could run away." Or, "They shouldn't be so naive." But these people living in the shadows do not know that there is a way out or that anyone cares.
That is where we come in. The End It Movement, along with International Justice Missions, Love 146, Polaris Project, and many other organization are working to END world slavery. Passion 2013 alone raised over $1,000,000 in support of rescuing and restoring people and their lives. But giving alone isn't the only way you can support the End It Movement: we have to spread the word. The majority of the world truly doesn't know that slavery exists. However, we can change this. Our voices matter. Whether you are a follower of Christ or not, you can shine a light on slavery.
On the last night of Passion 2013, all 60,000 college students and leaders surrounded the Georgia Dome and lit candles for all the people around the world in slavery. Then, a large, 40-light spotlight was lit, and could be seen for over three miles.
To learn more about Passion and the End It Movement, go to 268generation.com and enditmovement.com.