Shameka Brown is a third year at Drake University, studying Sociology and African American/African Diaspora Studies. For the last few years, she has worked in the community and with nonprofit organizations to advocate and increase the efforts of educational opportunities for high school and college students She is currently working with the Iowa Department of Human Rights and local community members to help provide educational resources and opportunities to help students of color to succeed academically.
I first became involved in addressing issues of educational inequalities at an early age by working at a summer nonprofit organization that worked with at-risk youth of color. The program worked with youth that came from low-income families. The program provided them with educational resources such as computer technology training, gave them meals and school supplies, and organized college visits. As I got older I became more involved in addressing issues regarding the lack of educational opportunities and the correct representation for Black and Brown youth. I came to understand how low educational achievement could lead to lowered economic prospects later in life, perpetuating a lack of social mobility. At Drake University, I am currently a peer mentor for transfer students to help them adjust to college by providing them with adequate resources to successfully get through their first year at the university. I am also involved in community efforts to help high school and college students have access to resources and educational components that help them become student advocates. I work with them to properly advocate about social issues that are going on with in their communities.