Tynisha Person ’15: Be active, create lifelong friends

Tynisha Person ’15 arrived on campus in the first cohort of Each One Teach One students, then became a mentor for the program its next three years. The pre-orientation program for students of color enters its 11th year this fall. 

Tynisha Person '15
Tynisha Person ’15

“We got to know the other students of color,” she recalls. “We got to talk about things and really bond with each other. That’s really what kept me at Cornell, to be honest. It really motivated me to make something out of my stay there, not just go through the motions.”

The track and field coach recruited Person, and her campus visit included an overnight with Ariel Harris ’13, who convinced her to apply. Person fully embraced campus life, majoring in kinesiology and participating in track, PINQ, dance team, Sister 4 Sister, BACO, and Phi Omega—among other activities.

“I personally don’t think I ever felt hardships,” she recalls. “I noticed there weren’t a lot of people of color there. There weren’t hair stores for us and certain foods were difficult to come by. Honestly I adjusted to it as I’m so used to moving around a lot because my parents are in the military.”

She is pleased with the continuation of Each One Teach One and likes seeing student-athletes be more integrated into campus life. Now she would like to see the college ensure that students of color play important roles on campus, and offer alumni of color reunions. That would bring her back to campus—even all the way from Bakersfield, California, where she is an Army signal support specialist and recruiter with plans to become a physical therapist. 

If she were back for Each One Teach One, she would tell students like her to be open-minded and involved. 

“Do something, be involved, find a group you really relate to, get a role in that group, get more active. You can start your own group if you want to. Stay busy.”

If you do that, she says, “you do create lifelong friends and family ties.”