The IOWA Challenge expresses important principles that help students succeed in the classroom and beyond. Five expectations: Excel, Stretch, Engage, Choose, and Serve make up the Challenge. The Iowa Challenge series highlights students that exemplify these five values in their daily lives at the University of Iowa.
How do you Stretch at Iowa?
I Stretched at Iowa by taking a chance and joining student organizations that fit my interest. I wrote for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) my freshman year of college and I became involved and I wanted to learn from Cassandra Santiago, the current president of the org at the time. I wanted to soak in as much information as I could from her. Not too long after, I became the president once Cassandra left, and the rest is history. As the president of NABJ, I schedule and lead meetings, edit everyone’s papers and help with ideas, and create layouts with the help of the advisers.
How has this improved your experience at Iowa?
My experience has been refreshing. Having a leadership position on campus has allowed me to acquire skills that I can apply in and outside of the classroom. I’ve also expanded my network and built relationships with people that have challenged me to heights that I didn’t think I could reach a couple of years ago.
What advice would you give to new students on how to stretch at Iowa?
My advice would be don’t be afraid to get involved and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Often as leaders on this campus some students look to us as if we have everything “figured out” when in reality we don’t have everything figured out. I’ve made so many mistakes, I’m going to make more, but I keep a positive outlook because I know I will get to learn from each mistake that I make.
What impact do you hope NABJ has on students or the campus?
I want the underrepresented communities on this campus to know that their stories matter too. And we as an organization narrate the stories and issues that Black, Latino, and even Asian folks can relate to.
Where do you want to end up after college?
I know I will graduate and move on to law school. As far as which type of law I want to study, that’s still to be determined. I’ll have it figured out, I’ll love what I do, and make an impact on the lives of others. The love and the impact is what’s most important.
About the series
The Iowa Challenge encourages students to get the most out of their college experience. We encourage all students to Excel, Stretch, Choose, Engage, and Serve during their time here at Iowa. Learn more about the Iowa Challenge here.
The Division of Student Life is creating profiles of students who have shown their work in relation to the Iowa Challenge in some way. If you know a student we should feature, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.