Hampton University student inspired to establish new mentoring program

Dazha Austin | Staff Writer

According to the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences, mentoring is a relationship between two individuals based on a mutual desire for development towards career goals and objectives.

By sharing fun activities and exposing a mentee to new experiences, a mentor encourages positive choices, promotes high self-esteem, supports academic achievement, and introduces the young person to new ideas.

Khadijah White, a St. Louis, Missouri native and first-year business marketing major at Hampton University has been inspired to create a new mentorship program.

What many people do not know, is that the distance from St. Louis, Missouri to Ferguson, Missouri is approximately 8 miles.

Ferguson was the home of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, who was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer.

The shooting prompted protests that rocked the area for weeks.

On Nov. 24 in 2014, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that a grand jury had decided to not indict Mr. Wilson. The announcement set off another wave of protests.

“I had a summer volunteer experience at a program called Freedom School of Pagedale, Missouri. At this institution, volunteers worked with children of “the ghetto” in hopes of keeping them off the streets during the summer whereas they had the freest time,” White said describing her involvement in the program.

“Within my program we provide mentorship as well as promote academic success by providing tutoring, and other tools and resources needed to reach that level of academic excellence,”

She expressed that she plans to do this for the rest of her life. White’s passion is best shown through her community organization entitled “The Journey to Change” designed to work with juvenile detention centers.

Their desire is to provide youth with the necessary tools and resources and to prevent adolescents from engaging in criminal activities that can hinder their futures.

As the CEO and Founder of “The Journey to Change,” Khadijah envisions a future in which success is within reach of every child in the Hampton Roads area.

She hopes that her organization will help the adolescents empower themselves and influence future generations toward making a difference for themselves, their community and the global community.

“As a young African American woman, I take pride in demonstrating leadership in everything I do.”

White has gotten a group of other students together to  implant a mentoring program here on campus. The program is serving different elementary schools within the area.

“Demonstrating leadership gives me the opportunity to show others that I am competent and capable of excelling in the future that lies ahead despite the obstacles set before me,” White said.

“With these characteristics, I have made a conscious effort to reach out to my community and model to others the importance of leadership, hard work, and diligence. By recognizing that youth tend to learn and do by what they see, I strive to lead by example and make it my passion to set a positive example to inspire others with my aspirations of making a difference.”

Khadijah White came to Hampton with a plan to make a difference, and you can help to. Contact khadijah.tw@gmail.com for more information.

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