Foster Youth Document First Year of College: Meet Nakia
Above: Nakia, age 23, studying Psychology and English at Queens College
Where do you attend college and what are you studying?
Nikia: I go to Queens College and major in Psychology and have a minor in English.
Tell us about the day you moved into the dorms!
Nikia: The day I moved into the dorms was such a revolutionary feeling to have both my support systems helping me. They were so proud which helped to ease some of my anxiety. I met the housemates and they were ok. For the first few days I mainly stayed to myself.
Tell us about some of the classes you took this year! Which classes did you enjoy the most, and why? What was the most creative and interest assignment you had to complete?
Nikia: This year I have taken Art, and many English and Psychology courses. I believe the most interesting course I have had was English: Genre course. I learned about something I had never heard about, elegies. It was a great experience to attend a course where the professor kept the class alive.
We know college is hard! What was the most challenging part of living in the dorms and going to school?
Nikia: The most challenging part of doing both was the transition. As a child in foster care all of my life, I have had to move constantly. My last home has been my last home for over 7 years, so the anxiety of having to face a new element did not help me at first. Once you get your feet planted though, you learn how to maneuver in your everyday life of dorming and going to school.
What extracurricular events did you participate in?
Nikia: I attended a few workshops throughout the year. I especially enjoyed meeting a fellow Latino poet. His words made everyone mesmerized and it was an overall great experience.
How did your Resident Advisors and tutors help you navigate dorm living and college classes?
Nikia: My R.A’s helped make every obstacle a breeze. At times when I felt like I was out of place, my R.A would reassure me that although I was there by choice, I still was capable of great things and that I shouldn’t give up. Also, the R.A’s helped each other; if one was not available, regardless if that R.A was assigned to me, then I would still have someone to assist me in whatever I needed.
Tell us about your current (or previous or upcoming) jobs or internships—and what you hope to gain.
Nikia: I will be working as a camp counselor during the summer for Fresh Air Fund. I hope to gain the respect and enlightening experience that I am sure my R.A this semester, has received. As my R.A has been a model of patience, understanding, and respect, I hope to spread that on.
Click here to learn more about The New York Foundling’s efforts and role in the CUNY/ACS Fostering College Success Initiative.
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