Hollan T. Strepay, a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), has been a student advocate for several causes. Hollan is actively addressing the digital divide for low-wealth students. He has worked closely with the university community to develop a technology assistance program initiated to help his fellow students obtain laptops to support their academic success. Hollan's goal for the program is to bridge the gap that exists relative to access to technology.
Additionally, Hollan has facilitated the implementation of a book bank that provides free books to Honors students in need; he has written a proposal that resulted in an improved on-campus housing experience; and created Reclaim Your Meal Swipe campaign that resulted in upgrades to the cafeteria menu. These initiatives positively impact underserved students at NCCU. His ambition is not limited to the campus of NCCU. He has served as a leader of the Summer Youth Business and Entrepreneurship Academy, a local mentoring program, volunteers for Dartmouth EMS, and mentors peers as an undergraduate adviser in residential life. Hollan's skill, personal drive and passion for engagement will motivate him to continue this legacy of service.
My passion for equity and justice flourished as I entered NCCU. Student success has always been at the top of my priorities and my involvement in student government allows me to have a platform to address students' struggles. As a first year student, I quickly became involved on campus as well as in community. While advocating for my peers, I began to understand the challenges many low wealth students face daily.
Many students did not have ready access to technology to aid in their daily coursework productivity. A common trend among those who did not have access to their own tools was limiting access to a required e-book or online simulation for a class, which is another way that disenfranchises people from competing equally.
This experience inspired me to launch a technology inclusion program, "Assisting Student Success in Supplying Technology "(A.S.S.I.S.T.). The program empowers underserved students with high-quality technology. By granting students access to information, A.S.S.I.S.T. acts as the great equalizer in higher education. Technology is not just a want, but also a necessity that no student should be deprived of.
As Steve Maraboli once said, "A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal."