Annyce Brackins ’19
Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Sonja Lorentzen Scholarship
The Freshman Academic Institute was my first time on campus, and I just fell in love with Lawrence. FAI really helped me get ready for the Lawrence experience—it lets students come before classes start to get accustomed to college life. Now I’m an FAI mentor, which is really important to me. I took part in a mentoring program in high school, and working with FAI definitely taught me that I could be a mentor, or even run a mentoring program. I want to get my graduate degree in public administration and become a grantwriter for a nonprofit organization working with black youth.
In addition to FAI, I’m involved with campus life during the school year, including the organizations Black Student Union and All Is One: Empowering Women of Color. I relate to them and feel comfortable in the space. We’re very active on campus. AIO plans People of Color Empowerment Week, which brings people from all identities and ethnicities to come speak about their culture. BSU also works on that, as well as a celebration of Black History Month, the BSU all-campus barbeque, and the Commencement Kente Cloth Ceremony. BSU also takes advantage of Björklunden as a retreat and planning space.
Writing is definitely a place Lawrence and Lawrence faculty changed my life, especially my Freshman Studies instructor Douglas Martin and my advisor Karen Hoffmann ’87. When I got to Lawrence, my writing wasn’t so great and they took their time with me and encouraged me. I haven’t had a class with Professor Martin since Freshman Studies, but we still keep in contact and he continues to check on me. And as my advisor, Professor Hoffmann keeps pushing me to improve. I like to work hard and I like to see growth and progress. That’s what I look for in professors and advisors, people who are patient with me, but not soft on me—I appreciate that they pushed me because now I have gone from someone who didn’t have the best writing skills to looking at a career in grantwriting.
I’ve also gotten a taste of nonprofit fundraising through my work with the Lawrence Fund. I see personally how the Lawrence Fund impacts every single student since it provides a hidden grant that reduces everyone’s tuition by $10,000. I always think “Where would I be without the Lawrence Fund?” Support for the Lawrence Fund is so important because there are a lot of students like me who, when we get home, we don’t have a lot of financial freedom but we really want this education. For us, taking this financial risk to get an education is huge and the fact that we are able to continue to take that risk because donors are supporting us is a blessing.
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