“The most amazing part about being in College Visions was the family aspect. I felt so fortunate to have not only the financial support with waivers, but the emotional support. ”
What was an obstacle that you had to overcome during the college application process? How did CV help you overcome this obstacle?
Something I found challenging was my college essay. I found it very challenging to think of a topic or to be satisfied with the ideas I was generating. Ultimately, I lacked confidence and I had a fixed mindset about my own capabilities. Simon, the founding executive director, supported me to trust my voice. He provided examples of other essays and supported me through many drafts of the writing experience.
What did you value about your College Visions experience? What made the difference to you?
The most amazing part of being a part of College Visions was the family aspect. I felt so fortunate to have not only the financial support with waivers, but the emotional support. I witnessed my peers struggling with gaining access to what I learned to be common knowledge about college in general, navigating the experience, and finding the space that felt right for your next stage in life. Simon was thoughtful in how to affirm our wildest dreams and marry them to our realities. He always reminded us that we need a clear plan with not just a goal but the strategic steps to achieve it.
What does it mean to you to be a first-generation college graduate?
It means everything. My parents had always narrated their hopes and dreams for my siblings and I. I felt a tremendous amount of pressure as the oldest. I felt that if I didn’t succeed I would bring shame to my family. I also felt a pressure to not move too far to fear of not being able to support if needed. I know that I can truly be and do anything I want if I’m willing to just dare to fly! I know what I was able to do inspired my siblings and put me in a position as a professional to compete with my peers in today’s world.
Why do you give to CV?
I give because I believe in the work. It is wild how much the program has grown. More and more young people feel underwhelmed with the educational opportunities in front of them. They either lack effort or motivation. The change to be in CV ignites a spark. The data speaks for itself and it makes others feel excited to learn more. There are so many talented young people who deserve their shot to explore their potential. CV makes that possible. I wish we could serve even more young people.
What motivated you to work in education? What does it mean to you to be an educator of color?
I honestly have no idea. I was convinced teaching wasn’t good enough and little did I know I would become a Teacher of the Year 2019 for my district. When I look back, I suppose being the eldest of 6, having volunteers on over 19 service trips domestically and internationally. I just love helping others grow and develop. I support a variety of needs. There is no more leaving our brown and black behind academically.
MICHAELLE graduated from Northeastern University, Class of 2011.