Black representation in higher educational, pursing degrees, are essential for our youth. Just as our youth can learn a dance move in less than 5 minutes from their favorite celebrity, they can also learn the importance of education from a black individual pursuing a degree! It shows them that they can do anything they want to do as long as they work hard to achieve their dream. In general, sometimes all it takes is seeing someone there to show another person that they have the same potential, and more because of the added value of mentors. It also shows to the nation that black representatives can be present in any level of higher education.
As black individuals in higher education, we have to realize that we are the models for black youth. We show them that there is a possibility to be in college, graduate and professional schools. For instance, I tutored teenage black children in essential core courses such as English, math and science while I was in college. I showed them it was possible to attend a university as a student pursing a science degree at a predominately white institution and graduate. They asked me a lot of questions pertaining to how to be successful in school without getting distracted and I would try to guide them. Overall, they told me how important it was for them to interact with me because not too many people were encouraging them to go to college and I actually showed them that they could do it.
YOUTH AND MENTORS
It is important as black individuals in higher education to come back to our neighborhoods or even other black neighborhoods and educate those younger than us and motivate them. They look up to us and the more we realize that, the more we will carry ourselves in a leadership demeanor and become mentors. Just think about the time you wanted to see more black representation in certain work fields, it all started with representation in higher education. However, when we hold these positions, we must realize the actions we take can make for a positive or negative influence.
For example, I always wanted to see black individuals represented in healthcare. I wanted people who could show me that I can pursue my dreams in becoming a physician. When I found individuals in this field, if I ever needed help or assistance, I had people I could turn to. It has helped me tremendously and it has been very encouraging. Since I have been helped, I know it is important to help others and be the black representative that people were for me.
NATIONAL LEVELS AND NETWORKING
Thinking on a national level, black representation in higher education is important for everyone to see. It shows that we are making an impact on the workforce in every aspect: healthcare, law, engineering and etc. And from our experiences we are infusing our diversity through the mindsets that we have obtained. As a result we are molding these fields and preparing them for the future black representatives. Once people get into these positions from their higher education, they can provide networking opportunities for younger black individuals. Networking is an important aspect that further develops relationships and expands horizons. These relationships can cause a spread into other higher educational sectors where black individuals can be more represented.
BE THE CHANGE
In short, everything begins with our present influence in higher education. The more we are present in higher education, the more we can change the outlook in these arenas and become the change we want to see. We can influence other black individuals to join higher education with their experience and influence to represent something important.