Winter 2019 Cohort


Taylor, 25

"Affliction is often that thing which prepares an ordinary person, for some sort of an extraordinary destiny." -C.S. Lewis

My junior year, I participated in a mentoring program through EMU that inspired me to create my own mentoring program based on the things that I learned from my experiences and lessons that I knew I still needed to learn. In 2015, I was financially unable to complete my last year at EMU for a multitude of reasons. It was that following year that I founded my non-profit organization Girls That Rock. I was determined to help young women attain their goals through organization and self-awareness. The Engage Corps program has been the experience that I never could have imagined. Having the opportunity to tell my story, and get another chance has been my saving grace. My time away from school only enhanced my passion for helping the community and higher education. I am a better mentor as a result of my transition because I can properly prepare my high school seniors for what's to come. After graduating in December, I plan to move forward in obtaining my Master of Social Work.

Taylor is volunteering with Washtenaw Literacy in Ypsilanti and is majoring in Psychology.

Jamere, 26

"There is always another way."

Entering college at a young age and not really having anyone in my life to model what I'm supposed to do ultimately had a negative effect on me. It forced me to figure it out myself and grow up without any direction. Working full time and, sometimes, more than one job to pay the bills at my apartment, going to school full time, being on the e-board of multiple organizations, trying to maintain a failing relationship and have a social life was too much for me at the time. School took a backseat to me trying to survive which lead to stepping away from EMU. My experience re-enrolling at EMU was surreal. I definitely did not think that I would be where I am today. EMU Eagle Engage Corps has really changed my life and made me feel supported through this amazing journey.

Jamere is volunteering with the Barney McCosky Baseball and Basketball League in Detroit and is majoring in Political Science.

Tye, 28

"By any means necessary. " - Malcolm X

I began my undergraduate journey back in 2008 when I was 18 years old. I was a first generation high school graduate and college student. I was a struggling student. I had no real support system and didn't have much guidance. EMU Eagle Engage Corps was my saving grace. My experience re-enrolling at EMU was simple and easy. I visited an adviser, planned out the courses needed for me to graduate then filled out all of the re-enrollment forms. I stayed on top of things so the process turned out to be fairly painless. After finishing college, I hope to gain employment with an organization that focuses on youth development.

Tye is volunteering with the Collaborative - Ypsilanti YMCA Child Development Center in Ypsilanti and is majoring in Communication.

Dominique, 25

"If it can't be fixed or you won't fix it, don't complain. "

I began college right after high school. Taking time off to explore options wasn't in my path. I dove in head first with no clear direction; I just knew I had to get my degree. While at EMU I had a lot of options and support from staff as I found my way. However, due to internal struggles, I found myself lost and drowning. I tried to swim to the surface kicking harder and harder by adding more and more to my plate to get the "full experience". However, my inability to reach out to those support systems and desire to keep the "status quo" lead to my downfall so close to the end. Once I received this opportunity to re-enroll it was honestly unbelievable. I wanted to do everything I could to make this a success. Now, was it easy, no? For starters, I began the enrollment process when the university was closed and a few weeks before the semester started. Then I had to tell my job I know this is what I normally work but I need to change it as soon as possible. Once I got over a few hurdles I braved my first collegiate course in years at the 400 level. Well I am a senior that should be no big deal right? Wrong! It's like doing a hard crash on the computer which is my brain rewiring to process ideas that used to come so naturally. It is frustrating and intimidating when your class mates have been fully immersed in this process without let up. This entire experience has forced to me to look at myself not as someone who is broken or someone who failed. This experience has made me look my mistakes, trials and tribulations in the face and say " You won't beat me."

Dominique is volunteering with Washtenaw Literacy in Ypsilanti and is majoring in Electronic Media and Film Studies.

Ron, 22

"As we’re reaching our goals in life, it’s important to remember, it’s not about everyone else on knowing you did it, it’s about you knowing you can do it...One of the most gratifying moments is knowing you did that..." - KB

I came to college at 17. I knew I would be in the medical field. My mom is a nurse. I am the only child and it has always been just me and my mom. As soon as I got to college my mother moved across the country to start travel nursing. That was kind of hard for me. During my sophomore year I was going through a bad break up. During that time my grades slipped and me and my mother just could not afford the price of my single dorm. It was really hard for me because I have always believed school was my only way. I always thought school was all I had and losing that really broke me down. After re-enrolling, I am the happiest I have been in a long time. I hold school in a different way and appreciate it even more now. I plan to go to pharmacy school. A dream of mine is to me a celebrity/special FX makeup artist.

Ron is volunteering with the Collaborative - YMCA Child Development Center in Ypsilanti and is majoring in Biochemistry.

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