August 21, 2019
Category: Student Blogs
Like a lot of people say when they talk about Catawba: “When I visited the campus, I fell in love with the place!” I, too, can attest to that, but I want to briefly talk about why I stay at Catawba and why I continue to push pass often being homesick to stay at Catawba.
Being a kid from Baltimore, Maryland I appreciate how the Catawba community has accepted me. When I graduated high school, I did not have the best GPA nor was I involved in extracurriculars. I did not believe I stood out from the average high school student, but Catawba saw something different in me.
Based on my application to Catawba, my admissions counselor thought that I would be a good candidate for the Spirit of Catawba Scholarship. When I came to campus for the competition, no one knew me, and I doubted my chances of winning as I got to meet the other candidates. By the time I left the competition, I connected with so many people and felt at home already. The relationships I built that day foreshadowed how my time would be at Catawba.
I ended up winning the Spirit of Catawba Scholarship, and when I found out I won, it fueled a passion in me to work my hardest to leave my mark on Catawba because of the opportunity afforded to me through the scholarship. I felt I owed it to the people who picked me because to myself I did not think I amounted to much - but they saw potential in me, and I wanted to live up to that. I decided that I would not let the money go to waste, and I would change the narrative of my academic career because someone who really did not know me believed in me.
During my freshman year, multiple opportunities were presented to me to help my development academically, socially, and for my life after Catawba. In my first year, I had the chance to help lead organizations on campus to gain leadership experience. I gravitated to the Student Government Association (SGA) and ran for Freshmen Class President. Being a Class President with that passion burning inside me opened up doors for me that I could have never imagined. SGA provided me with opportunities to serve the Catawba and the Salisbury community, then it allowed me to meet amazing people. Being a Class President, I took it upon myself to get to know as many people in my class as possible and be a representative for them. It allowed me to meet and connect with so many diverse groups of students. At the end of my freshman year, a lot of my colleagues in SGA believed in me enough to encourage me to run for SGA Executive Vice-President, and I won! Being the SGA Vice-President allows me to see Catawba from a different point of view that fosters a unique love for Catawba.
I want to share that love with everyone on campus. I genuinely love the students and I want to help give them have the best college experience they can have. I love the direction the College is moving in, and I want to do whatever I can do to help that. The person I was before Catawba keeps me humble because of everything Catawba has done for me. Catawba is so unique in what it has to offer students! Through a relationship with my professors, I had the chance to start and maintain a relationship with the mayor of Salisbury, which is leading to possible avenues to create stronger connections with other Salisbury colleges. I’ve worked countless hours with the Director of Internships to help me find a summer internship, work on my resume, and help other students connect to resources that can prepare them for their next step.
Also, I’ve worked with the President and Dean of Students on how to better the students’ Catawba experience. And sometimes just being able to go sit in a staff member’s office and get advice and encouragement helps me feel comfort while I am away from home. I have only been at Catawba a short time, but I am still fired up to leave my mark. I hope my story inspires a student to choose Catawba for an amazing college experience and inspires them to get out of their shell and find their passion.