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FSM Podcast Series: Student Strength Stories—Housing Domain, LaShawntelle

Each month, FSM features a student with strengths, skills, and resilience in each of the domains via podcast to celebrate student accomplishments and achievements and share resources with the FSM Network! Join us as we talk to LaShawntelle about her strengths in the Housing Domain!

What are you studying? What is your anticipated degree?

I am a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University. I majored in Women and Gender Studies with a minor in Public and Nonprofit Administration. My passion is to empower women and youth. My long-term goal in life is to own my own nonprofit organization that provides resources to women and youth that will equip them for life. In addition, I was recently accepted into the Masters of Social Work program at Grand Valley State University. With this degree, I would like to counsel women and youth who have experienced trials and tribulations such as myself.

Tell us about your strength in this domain related to your college experience.

My strength related to the housing domain was my network during undergraduate school. Living with individuals you may or may not know is a wavering experience. This means you may or may not have a good experience wherever you are placed in housing-your good or bad experiences can include faculty, staff, students, and or self (personal issues that strictly focus on you) During undergrad, I experienced trials and tribulations due to uncontrollable circumstances in my life. Because of this, I have depression, Post-Traumatic Stress, and anxiety. However, due to my strong network within housing, I had support from individuals that helped me to overcome different issues. I was provided with resources such as counseling and mentorship, which both played a significant role in who I am today. In addition, being a woman of color at a Predominantly White Institution is difficult within itself. I lived with mostly Caucasian students who weren't culturally competent and so, I experienced racism. At the time this was a culture shock because I came from a diverse community. But because of my strong network, I received support and the situations I faced, were resolved. Having a strong network is the foundation for any assistance you may need whether it is personal or professional. My network with the individuals I met through housing are still ongoing today.

What do you think are the biggest obstacles in this domain?

The biggest obstacle in this domain would be the unknown, not knowing what type of experience you may have-that's why it is important to have a network of people that will assist you in ways that are needed.

What have you been doing since graduation? 

Since graduating, I've been gaining more experience in social service work by volunteering. I am currently job searching as well. My goal is to work for a nonprofit organization that provide's social services to women and youth. I also look forward to starting my Master's program in the Fall (at Grand Valley State University).

Click here for the full podcast! 

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