“None of us got to where we are alone. Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone’s help is a big part of understanding the importance of saying thank you.” – Harvey Mackay

Being a part of the CUNY Peer Leader program has gotten me through personal and academic adversities. At the beginning of the program, I had two semesters left of undergrad at Medgar Evers College. I was taking six classes and working a part-time job. On top of that, I dealt with my mental health by relearning how to have fun and discovering what joy means to me. The pandemic and uprise in crime kept me on edge almost every day, forcing me to stay home. That time in my life was challenging for me to overcome, but The CUNY Peer Leaders program helped me to decompress my emotions and realize that I’m not alone in this journey called life.

When I did my research and applied for the program, I knew that it would be an excellent opportunity for me to express myself through my writing. I always had great expectations that this program would aid me in developing into a beautiful and knowledgeable adult. My experience within this community has been amazing. I’ve learned much about gender identity, advocacy, feminism, meditation, graduate programs, and individuality. I’m confident in my leadership to pass down what I learned as a CUNY Peer Leader to others from experience and not ignorance.

The impact of this program will never be forgotten. I felt a sense of community and belonging in the meetings and conversations with the coordinators. The stipend of 1,000 dollars helped me to pay off my 2022 winter class; the recommendation that Kashema wrote for me in my graduate process has gotten me accepted into Craig Newmark School of Journalism, and the meditations and check in’s helped me to express my gratitude for the minor things in life that comes together to create the big picture.

I want to thank everyone for allowing me to be a part of such a great community, and I am looking forward to showcasing what I have put together for the final project.

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