Nyaa Ferary | Features Editor
Pearis Bellamy is one of three Hampton students named a White House HBCU All Star. She is a junior psychology major, leadership studies minor from New Jersey. Attending Hampton on scholarship was a long time goal of hers that she was able to achieve as she began her tenure at Hampton along with the Ogre Phi Ogre ’16 class. She is a part of the Freddye T. Davy Honors College and found out about the opportunity to be an HBCU All Star from an email that Dr. Sabin Duncan put out last semester. Her love of Hampton, HBCUs as a whole and the inspiration from President Obama and his administration gave her the necessary courage to apply.
As an HBCU All-Star, Pearis is expected to serve as an ambassador for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities for approximately one year. The initiative will provide outreach opportunities and communicate to the student body various networking resources and the value of a college education. Through this relationship, Pearis will be able to show her fellow students just how many resources are available to enable them to succeed. Pearis Bellamy says, “Oftentimes, you hear news about HBCUs struggling or people questioning our importance, but being able to hear people encourage us and support us is beautiful to me. I hope to be a liaison for others on campus to utilize the opportunities out there for us. We are the future and it is up to us to ensure that the legacy of HBCUs continues.”
This opportunity brought her closer to two of her friends on campus that were also awarded this opportunity. Ashleigh Williams from Fort Washington, Maryland and Michael McGee from Detroit, Michigan, are also participating in this program. The experience thus far has impacted Bellamy’s decision to register for the White House conference this October. She will be able to meet people from HBCUs all across the United States as well as representatives that work for various agencies within the government and all over the world.
Pearis plans on being an advocate for students to become more self-aware of their internal and external wellness. Pearis says, “I plan to use this platform to inform students on campus about their health. This includes physical, mental and emotional health. There are resources for college students that many do not take advantage of. I plan to do this through awareness events about STDs, mental health and insurance options under the Affordable Care Act. No matter how successful we may all strive to be, an unhealthy lifestyle can hinder those aspirations. I hope to be a resource and a friend to those on campus as we navigate through college and try to live our best lives.”
Besides being a White House HBCU All Star, Pearis Bellamy is also the founder of her own businesses called “Positively Pearis” and Youth Nation Seminars as well. She is also serving as Miss Sophomore for the 2016 school year. For more information visit her business websites http://www.positivelypearis.com and http://www.youthnationseminars.com, and follow her on Instagram @pearisbellamy or Twitter @pearis_bellamy.