A reflection on the impact of university programming and on-campus families.
I recently have had the opportunity to begin work as a writer, edit, and content strategist at my university, a position which has already helped me grow immensely in the brief months I have held it. My first task within this role was to write Student Success Stories for IUPUI’s Diversity Enrichment and Achievement Program, known around campus as DEAP.
It took a few weeks to get into contact and interview four different, busy students around campus, but in the end I had a great time combining their words and my writing skillset to share their stories. I was tasked with drafting pieces that would demonstrate the positives of being a member of DEAP, and the depth of the results (pun possibly intended) surprised me.
I was apprehensive, when beginning this project, as to how much people would be willing to share with a stranger whom they only knew as being a writer for the school. Their eagerness to open up was a pleasant surprise, and as you’ll see if you read their stories, being a part of DEAP impacted them all greatly in different ways. Each of them was able to say that the program’s staff and students had become a secondary family, and I think connection between that type of support and the success of these young people should be recognized.
College is an enormous alteration from high school on its own, and when you factor in all the other possible changes (“I have to get good grades and work enough to pay the bills?!”) it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I myself spent a lot of time that first semester in a puddle of salty tears. However, each of the four students I interviewed overcame those and quite a few other odds to become confident leaders in the community, growth which they all attributed to the support system they found in the program.
Finding something stable and supportive to hold on to in the never-ending whirlwind of life can literally change a person’s life.