About Me

How I came to join the Community and Social Change program
For a while, all I knew was what I didn’t want to do.

I was born and raised in pre-gentrified downtown Atlanta. These days, I use that qualifier because the names of the neighborhoods that raised me don’t carry the same weight that they did 20 years ago. For the majority of my life I’ve lived in poor minority communities, all the products of White-Flight, long neglected by the powers that be. My elementary school had a large immigrant population, and it wasn’t until middle school that I was really exposed to and socialized with members of the white middle class. When I was young I couldn’t understand why I felt so out of place. As I got older, I realized that my life experiences were not very similar to those of people who looked like me. This caused some amount of stress, and perhaps even a minor identity crisis. However, Atlanta is still quite diverse and I easily surrounded myself with people from all walks of life.

Most of my time in school I thought I wanted to be a biologist or a veterinarian. In my senior year of high school I took an introductory psychology class and my passions changed instantly. At Georgia State I majored in psychology and filled my credits hours with social and multicultural studies. My passion was further developed after taking an introductory anthropology class. I made it my minor, and soaked up all I could from classes like The Anthropology of Violence and Modernity and Identity.

Upon graduation, I began working as a research assistant in the Behavioral Science Lab and remained there for three years. The experience was invaluable, and while I chose not to pursue a clinical degree, the importance of research has become ingrained in my mind. By summer of 2013 I began to get antsy. I had been out of school for long enough, and I was desperate to find a higher education program that spoke to me. For a while, all I knew was what I didn’t want to do. After some recommendations from mentors, my search became narrowed, and I discovered the Community and Social Change program in Miami.

I read the mission statement repeatedly to myself, “to prepare globally aware leaders, researchers, and agents of change who create, inspire, and engage community organizations to foster well-being in diverse community settings”. It struck me as a calling. Something that I could excel at, something I could find meaning in. When I first applied to the program, I wasn’t sure what I would do with the degree. I didn’t know how to explain it to family members, or my colleagues in the lab. All I really knew was that my life experiences had prepared me for this program, and that it would help me turn those experiences into skills that would allow me to do good in the world.

Key Experiences

Productions and project involvement beyond course requirements

The Town Hall Meeting Hosted by Urgent, Inc

An introduction to community based participatory research

When to Make Someone a Bowl of Ice Cream

An age appropriate way to discuss consent with young children without talking about sex

Tröllaskagi

A public art project in Northern Iceland for which I am providing community research and project implementation consultation

Course History and Products

A highlight of course work