Priscilla Mayowa is a first-year student at North Hennepin Community College. She is committed to addressing issues of equity, particularly as they relate to access and opportunities for affordable education. In the last year, Priscilla has become active in student senate both at the campus and state levels. She works to effect change through initiatives like Get out the Vote, and making her voice heard on the Student Technology Fee committee. Most recently, she has organized a subcommittee of committed students, and has become a leader in working to obtain open educational resources, which aims to make textbooks more affordable for students. Priscilla's approach to this work comes from a place of inclusion and empowerment, so that all students, particularly those from underserved communities, can access and benefit from higher education.
Education has always been important to me, but the rising cost of tuition and textbooks was a real barrier. The first time I came across the idea of open educational resources (OER) and affordable textbooks was at the September conference hosted by LeadMN, a statewide organization for Student Senate's from Minnesota two year institutions. I was immediately interested because before that conference, I had been kicked out of my class for failing to buy the required text on time. I attended the workshop on OERs during the conference and began doing my own research to educate myself more. Finding a cause I could be and wanted to be a part of, I applied to be an intern for LeadMN. I brought that same energy to my campus, getting the Student senate to pass a resolution to give OERs the attention they deserve at our school. The resolution then helped us form a committee focused on helping Faculty members interested in moving to OERs. I'm currently working as an OER intern at LeadMN and continue to talk to Faculty to incorporate open educational resources in their classes. I am passionate about students having access to an affordable education!