Dominique Hudson, St. Louis, Mo.May 1, 2012
My Roots/About Me
I am an African American woman from the urban community in St. Louis, Mo. I am the second oldest of five. I never had a positive role model for the academic aspect of life, so my main goal in life is to be a positive role model for my younger sisters and brother. I want them to know that the sky is the limit and the only person that can hold them back is themselves.
Areas of Study
Psychology and Ethnic Studies
Sister 4 Sister, Black Awareness Cultural Organization (BACO), P.A.L.S. mentor, Eyes of the World, PINQ, BACO/Intercultural Life Living & Learning Community.
Long Term Goal
I plan to attend Saint Louis University School of Social Work to pursue a masters in social work and a Ph.D. in counseling and family therapy. With these accomplishments, I plan to become a family and marriage therapist, providing services for individuals in need.
Did you have any concerns about fitting in at Cornell?
When I came to Cornell, for some reason I knew I would adjust fine to the academic aspects of college, but I knew my social life was going to be a different story. Coming from St. Louis to small-town Mount Vernon, Iowa was a big culture shock for me. I can remember spending the first block or two in my room bored out of my mind and not having anyone else to really hang with, besides my friend who came to Cornell with me. It wasn’t until I started making bonds with other people on campus, some who looked like me and some who didn’t, that I really started loving being at Cornell. I can honestly say these individuals are one of the main reasons why I am still at Cornell.
What were some of your initial impressions of the campus community?
When I first came to Cornell I couldn’t help but think that it is really open and quiet here, except for the train. When someone told me that there was a downtown in the community, I asked “where?” not knowing that downtown was just down the street. Some people that reminded me of home were Papa Ken and Triple G (Heather Roberts) from the Intercultural Life Office, and my friends Kiara, C’niphia, and Nichole. I had my inner circle, plus faculty/ staff that I could always run to when I needed help or just some laughs.
How have you grown at Cornell?
Coming to college is a big reality check and also a good place where you can find yourself. I have become very independent; I don’t have to call my momma every time it’s time for me to make a decision. I have grown to love myself, flaws and all, because they are what make me a unique person. I have also learned that the person I thought I was is the person I really am. People have told me on numerous occasions that I can be a very sociable, helpful, and positive person. I am a people person and I really love helping people, but I don’t know why, I just do.
How would you describe the campus culture to other students of color?
Even though Cornell is a predominantly white campus, I can honestly say that this campus is a place where you are free to be whoever you are. There’s something here for everyone. So my advice is when you come to Cornell, or any college, just be yourself because I guarantee you there will be individuals who will accept you and befriend you. Just think you already have one friend because I love befriending new people; it’s a good way to get you out of your comfort zone. Also know that everyone is unique, the most important thing is that you stay true to yourself.
I am the first person in my immediate family to attend school at a four-year college. I have five tattoos, and my fifth one was done here in Mount Vernon.
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