A couple weeks ago I received a few messages pertaining to my blog. I was asked to speak about my involvement here at Howard, my future goals, and my favorite things about Howard University. I hope you all enjoy my answers.
My name is D'Zyre Jones. I am a junior Computer Information Systems major, Graphic Design and Aerospace double minor from Syracuse, New York.
I chose Howard because I thought it would be instrumental in the education of my people. I wanted to familiarize myself with my roots as an African-American woman. I was infatuated with how rich our history was. I also knew coming to Howard as a young woman I would have to “find myself”. I wanted to be able to look in the mirror and create a relationship of understanding with the young woman looking back at me. Some people believe they were already who they were before Howard and in a way that may be the case, however, I believe that nobody is the same person they were when they came. You come to the Howard bubble and grow with new people, new ideas, new cultures, etc. ; there is no way you can be the same person when you leave.
Howard University became my home away from home. I tend to keep myself busy here. Currently, I am apart of a variety of organizations that I hold near and dear to my heart. One of the first organizations I joined was Student Government. Student government has cultivated the very foundation that has molded me into the bold and vivacious young, black woman that stands here today. I have met some amazing leaders during my matriculation that have impacted me on a profound level, pushing me to now hold the position of Vice President of the School of Business Student Council. My slate has prioritized creating a more gender-neutral/LGBTQIA environment at the School of Business and giving our students the resources to be more competitive within the workforce. Social responsibility is also a major objective on our agenda. We make it a priority to not only give back to the community surrounding Howard but to non-profit organizations that are actively fighting for us as minorities.
I am also apart of the MYTH (Mentoring Youth & Teens Health) where I get to serve as a mentor to students at Washington Metropolis High School. When I first joined MYTH I had no idea what to expect, but I knew that I was going to change someone's life. The first step to becoming a mentor was getting Youth Mental Health First Aid certified. This is important to mention because in the black community we tend to neglect mental health issues among us even though they are eating our loved ones alive. As kids, we don't fully grasp the big picture of life and understand that everyone is fighting a battle unbeknownst to you, but we still cry for consistency -- consistent nurturing, consistent attention, and consistent support. Back in Syracuse, I lost a lot of friends and cousins because they searched for consistency in places children shouldn't be exposed to. Here in D.C., I learned very fast that the city may have changed, but the hood still remained. When I walked into this school I had no idea how children with insufficient resources would respond towards me not knowing their background, but something in me told me I had to be there. My first mentee was the most outspoken one of her class. The teachers couldn't push her to do her work for weeks because she was too stubborn and needed more attention. I'm not sure if it was because I was also stubborn, but we seemed to click after we exchanged a couple of words. She opened up to me about her reality as a 13-year-old girl from Southeast D.C and there I knew I was looking right in the mirror. When I officially called her my mentee I made a promise to make sure if there was anyone who was getting out of this alternative school, it will be her. Giving her trust in me, she has started to believe in her capabilities and her true power, surpassing previous limitations projected on to her. In addition to MYTH, I am also a member of the National Congress of Negro Women where I hope to further our mission to lead, advocate, and empower the women of African descent with every breath in me. Last but not least, I am in HERCampus Howard Chapter as a content writer. This organization taught me to believe in my capabilities because they are already the blueprint. I lacked the confidence in my passions because I didn't think they were good enough to be noticed until my HerCampus sisters picked my head up with one hand and held a mirror in the other. “Grab the mirror and look deep into it. The only person who has to notice your talent is you".
In life, I've always found myself planning my entire life out for myself, but being here at Howard, I learned that sometimes God has other plans. My goals have become less of "I want to work at Google" and more of "I want to develop my passions in more depth". Knowing the woman that I am becoming, to speak on the various goals I envision for myself is to continuously believe in my strengths more than my weaknesses. If I can become the best D'Zyre Jones, everything else will fall in place.
My favorite thing about Howard University is the people I have met. They have unintentionally taught me how to never stop fighting for what I want in life. However, the most important lesson that I have learned at The Mecca was how to embrace myself as a Black Woman and wrap myself in love and confidence. I never understood how insecure I was until I came to Howard. Beauty was looked at differently here. The standard of beauty was far more holistic and inclusive at Howard than anywhere I have ever experienced before. It wasn't being light-skinned that made you pretty, nor was it being dark-skinned that made you beautiful, it was how much you loved yourself. People embraced who they were and what they identified as. Nobody was afraid to play Megan Thee Stallion at work with Caucasian people and nobody hesitated to say I like to drink booze and listen to Country music on Tuesdays. It takes a lot to fully accept everything that comes with being Black, but Howard is still teaching me the ins and outs.
- Signed D'Zyre