Anastasia Morrison, a third year student at Saint Anselm College, is a student leader active in addressing the issues of college access, educational equity, and racial justice. She has played a significant leadership role on campus as part of the Anselmian Network for Racial Justice Dialogue Initiative and in her community work with high school students belonging to groups traditionally considered underrepresented in higher education, particularly refugee and immigrant youth. She is currently working with high school students, community members, and her peers to explore ways to address economic, digital, and racial inequities in education and to increase access to educational resources and college for Manchester students.
I became involved with serving underrepresented high school students my freshman year of college when I became an Access Academy Coordinator, an afterschool program where high schoolers who are underrepresented in higher education can earn credits for taking courses taught by college students. This position allows me to get to know these students, who despite being nearly the same age had lived drastically different lives than myself. As coordinators, we foster an inviting and creative environment for students to practice the important life-skills of communication, collaboration, and self-advocacy within a safe and respectful space. This spring, I am preparing to coordinate my fifth class with Access Academy which is a blended ethics and law course that focuses on what it means to treat individuals, especially those who have been criminalized, in an ethical manner and what we can do when ethical treatment is not granted. As a member of Access Academy, the Saint Anselm College Tutoring Initiative, and a leader of the campus Racial Justice Dialogue program, I am determined to help provide a more equitable and ethical future for the students that I am lucky enough to work with and everyone who has faced discrimination based on their background.