By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar
Because of my Posse, I was able to see major issues happening in my community. Attending a private, white institution, some of my friends did not feel safe here because of how the community was treating them. They did not let it get to them and one of my Posse members, Emerald Rutledge, started a campaign called, #ITOOAMWOO. #ITOOAMWOO is a movement to provide a voice for all black students on the campus. It widens my scope because it shows me that we, a minority, have to stick together to achieve the same goal: for everyone to be treated with kindness.

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Because of my Posse, I was able to see major issues happening in my community. Attending a private, white institution, some of my friends did not feel safe here because of how the community was treating them. They did not let it get to them and one of my Posse members, Emerald Rutledge, started a campaign called, #ITOOAMWOO. #ITOOAMWOO is a movement to provide a voice for all black students on the campus. It widens my scope because it shows me that we, a minority, have to stick together to achieve the same goal: for everyone to be treated with kindness.

widen your scope

Grace Lee Boggs once said:

Our challenge… is to deepen the commonalities and the bonds between these tens of millions, while at the same time continuing to address the issues within our local communities by two-sided struggles that not only say “No” to the existing power structure but also empower our constituencies to embrace the power within each of us to crease the world anew.

Have you taken a look at what is happening in your community and discovered that these issues are occurring in different communities around the world? How are you widening your scope?

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar
Wooster is a small town in Northeast Ohio. I did not see much of what this town had to offer until I volunteered at The Wayne County Humane Society and Wooster Hope Center. Volunteering there, I was able to take care of animals that have been abused and also package food for people who need it. After spending my time there, I understood the importance of this town. This town is all about caring for one another and working together to create a unity in the community.

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Wooster is a small town in Northeast Ohio. I did not see much of what this town had to offer until I volunteered at The Wayne County Humane Society and Wooster Hope Center. Volunteering there, I was able to take care of animals that have been abused and also package food for people who need it. After spending my time there, I understood the importance of this town. This town is all about caring for one another and working together to create a unity in the community.

volunteer at a local community organization

How familiar are you with the local community where your campus or workplace is located? Volunteering can be a great way to learn about the resources and assets available in your community. How has volunteering at a local organization strengthened your understanding of a particular place?

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar
Before I act, I take a step back and think about the goals and purposes of what I stand behind. Then, I research the cause of what I believe in and make sure I agree to a certain extent the overall message that it is trying to portray. Every decision I make reflects who I am as a person and also can impact the generations after me.
As far as the picture, this is me and my little sister, Amanda. Amanda has been a major influence in my life. She saw me go through a rebellious phase during my high school yearz, and she was my main reason for why I stopped what I was doing and transformed into the big sister she expected me to be. In this picture, she was officially initiated into the Junior Beta Club, and received the position of officer. When she was delivering her speech, I realized that she has so much drive at such a young age and I couldn’t wait to see her grow up. By being a role model to her, she is excelling in academics and extracurricular activities as well as having a positive influence in her community. I couldn’t be more proud of Amanda. 

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Before I act, I take a step back and think about the goals and purposes of what I stand behind. Then, I research the cause of what I believe in and make sure I agree to a certain extent the overall message that it is trying to portray. Every decision I make reflects who I am as a person and also can impact the generations after me.

As far as the picture, this is me and my little sister, Amanda. Amanda has been a major influence in my life. She saw me go through a rebellious phase during my high school yearz, and she was my main reason for why I stopped what I was doing and transformed into the big sister she expected me to be. In this picture, she was officially initiated into the Junior Beta Club, and received the position of officer. When she was delivering her speech, I realized that she has so much drive at such a young age and I couldn’t wait to see her grow up. By being a role model to her, she is excelling in academics and extracurricular activities as well as having a positive influence in her community. I couldn’t be more proud of Amanda. 

re/present blogger and May 2014 /present Voice Shanawaj (Roy) Khair was recently selected to be a part of the GMS/ACS Cancer Action Network Delegation Team! Roy, and his fellow Scholars, will meet with members of Congress to discuss making cancer resources and research a top national priority.
For more information on the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association’s partnership with the American Cancer Society, and how other Gates Scholars can get involved visit: gmsacsadvocacy.

re/present blogger and May 2014 /present Voice Shanawaj (Roy) Khair was recently selected to be a part of the GMS/ACS Cancer Action Network Delegation Team! Roy, and his fellow Scholars, will meet with members of Congress to discuss making cancer resources and research a top national priority.

For more information on the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association’s partnership with the American Cancer Society, and how other Gates Scholars can get involved visit: gmsacsadvocacy.

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar
On 9/11 each year, we have discussions in class about this day. It is a touchy subject but we all feel we have a safe space and are able to have open discussions about it. We’ve dialogued about how this day shaped George W. Bush’s presidency or how it drastically changed a country’s perspective on religion. This day motivates me to take advantage of every day as if it was my last and to be open minded about everything.
 

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar

On 9/11 each year, we have discussions in class about this day. It is a touchy subject but we all feel we have a safe space and are able to have open discussions about it. We’ve dialogued about how this day shaped George W. Bush’s presidency or how it drastically changed a country’s perspective on religion. This day motivates me to take advantage of every day as if it was my last and to be open minded about everything.

 

Honor September 11

On this day thirteen years ago, our nation was shaken by the violent attacks of 9/11. No matter what age you were when it happened, that day has probably had a major impact on your life and possibly how you view the world. What discussions are you having surrounding 9/11 and how does this day motivate you to affect change?

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar
To commit to something that is familiar to you, you have to be able to be open minded in looking from all types of perspectives. When you can see something from a new outlook, there are drastic and influential changes you can make as a leader in the community and also towards issues that need to be discussed. When I see the world from a new vantage point, I get excited because there are endless opportunities and chances for me to change it for the better.
 

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar

To commit to something that is familiar to you, you have to be able to be open minded in looking from all types of perspectives. When you can see something from a new outlook, there are drastic and influential changes you can make as a leader in the community and also towards issues that need to be discussed. When I see the world from a new vantage point, I get excited because there are endless opportunities and chances for me to change it for the better.

 

See something from a new perspective.

Robin Williams’ character, John Keating, says in the movie Dead Poets Society,

I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.

As leaders, we must view an issue, a solution, or a community in a different in order for real change to occur - especially if these are issues and communities we see and interact with day in and day out. How can you commit to seeing something that is familiar to you, from a new perspective? What happens when you can do that?

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar
To me, words and pictures on my life map mean that I have accomplished some of my goals but there is always room for growth and improvement. The ones who are not able to speak up for themselves is what inspires me to speak up for my community. I want to branch out and be able to advocate what my community wants here at The College of Wooster. My life map is just one demonstration of who I am.

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar

To me, words and pictures on my life map mean that I have accomplished some of my goals but there is always room for growth and improvement. The ones who are not able to speak up for themselves is what inspires me to speak up for my community. I want to branch out and be able to advocate what my community wants here at The College of Wooster. My life map is just one demonstration of who I am.

reflect on how you’ve changed

Paulo Freire once said, “Liberation is a praxis: the action and reflection of men and women upon their world in order to transform it.” In our busy world, we sometimes get wrapped up in the “doing” and forget to take a moment to think and breathe. Take a moment to engage in reflection on how you’ve changed over time. What have you learned about yourself?

Create a life map.

Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know the story of your birth? The stories of our personal lives may play a large part of why we do what we do. What do the words and images on your life map mean to you? What on your life map inspires you to speak up for your community?