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ASEPBIANNUAL The Newsletter for the Academic Success and Enrichment Programs at Barnard College A Biannual Newsletter

Issue 6, Spring 2014

Giving Back to Her Caribbean Community By Naomi Dubissette

HEOP student Sashani Rose spent Spring Break in Dennery, St. Lucia, teaching and empowering her native Caribbean community. For many college students, the words “Spring Break” and “Caribbean” evoke the beach, picturesque sunny skies, and a getaway from everyday life. However, for Sashani Rose, HEOP ’16 scholar, Spring Break was an opportunity to reach back to her Caribbean community and address the concerns that tourists do not Sashani usually see. Having been born in Rose, (left) Jamaica, she is the product of a HEOP 2016, British educational system and introducing recalls her experience as a student herself to in the Caribbean as an aspect of her children of life that helped her to develop an Dennery understanding of who she is today. Primary With the initiative of giving back to School, in her Caribbean community in mind, St. Lucia. Sashani volunteered as a trip leader for the There Is Hope Campaign, an international community service project held herself, gave her personal story in a by the Caribbean Students’ Association that workshop called “Higher Education,” as a promotes education in the West Indies. This student growing up in Jamaica and wanting year, the group traveled to Dennery, St. to study in the United States to pursue her Lucia. By holding weeklong workshops with dreams of engineering. “It begins with a primary school students (ages 3-12), Sashani vision of wanting to live a life that you will encouraged students to frame their own enjoy and working towards this vision,” personal narrative and engage in discussions Sashani said to her students. “Because of about identity, higher education, working hard and believing in my vision for environmental sustainability, and myself, I was accepted into Barnard College interpreting history. of Columbia University.” Sashani’s workshop, among others, Sashani’s aim as a teacher was to open the incited positive reactions from many of the th eyes of her 6 grade students to higher students. When Sashani asked her students, education, motivating them to “think beyond “what defines success?” for example, their island” and attain their dreams. In one twenty-five enthusiastic children raised their of the discussions held, students expressed hands, eager to share their definitions of wanting to study abroad to become doctors, success. “Money,” one student said. “A big lawyers, and mechanical engineers. Sashani, house,” another sixth grader stated. “Living ASEP BIANNUAL

a good life,” was another answer. The discussion was a proud moment for Sashani as it was a testament to her initiative being fulfilled—encouraging students of the Caribbean to attain their individual dreams through education. Sashani is not the only Caribbean native in support of creating more resources for West Indian students. Principal James of Dennery Primary School was tremendously supportive of the There Is Hope Campaign. As Principal James states, “many of our students come from low-income households, and often one parent households. They become discouraged from seeking educational opportunities because of their economic limitations. The aim of education is to motivate these students (continued toon attain page what 2) 1

ASEP Spring 2014 Newsletter  

ASEP Newsletter