Are we encouraging our peers enough?


Alexandra Carmon | Staff Writer

American preacher, Joel Osteen once stated, “Encouragement to others is something everyone can give. Somebody needs what you have to give. It may not be your money; it may be your time. It may be your listening ear.”

As African Americans, it is important that we stick together because it is a harsh world out there for our people. This is all the more reason for students in historically black universities to encourage their peers to succeed in school.

When people start undergoing the process of applying to internships and graduate schools, pressure often arises to be better than the people around them. However, competition amongst students rather than unity can be extremely detrimental.

If one studies alone, they may miss information that their classmate could have given them. Also, when students do not help each other, some students end up falling behind. In addition, students who have a longer time processing information feel like they cannot ask questions in class due to fear of scrutiny.

They do not want to be that annoying kid that constantly makes the teacher go over material over and over again. Instead of mocking the person asking questions, students need to offer a helping hand. You should not be at the top as a result of stepping on other people.

You should work your way to the top and help others on your way up. Senior, Kayla Johnson, Marketing major, Strategic Communications minor from Detroit, Michigan suggested that students should lead by example.

“By leading by example we can do well ourselves and influence and motivate others to do well also. You can’t tell someone to go to class, study, and do homework when you aren’t doing those things yourself.”

Students need motivation especially when they are performing poorly in their classes. People should not feel as though they have to receive perfect scores on all their tests in order to feel successful.

College students should strive to do their best, and not feel stressed when they are unable to pull the grade they wanted. However, unfortunately internships and graduate schools stress high GPAs, which then leads people who do not learn as fast left in the cold.

Sophomore, computer science major from Kansas City, Missouri says, “Lower grades can sometimes hinder the amount of opportunities you may receive.

For example, students with better grades are more likely to get asked to go on trips and conferences offered by their department. Although it could benefit every student in the departments, only the ‘smart’ kids get to go.”

As young African Americans, we need to make sure that our peers are doing well, because the more African American graduates we have, the more we can prove to the world how powerful we are as a race.

32 High School students participate in Scripps Howard’s Digital Media Summer Camp

(Scripps Howard)
(Scripps Howard)

Darryn Mumphery | Contributing Writer

On July 12, Hampton University welcomed 32 high school students for it’s first ever DREAM Digital Media Academy, a summer camp geared towards increasing the presence of minorities in digital media and technology.

“DREAM” is an acronym that stands for “Diversity Re-Imagined, Engaging All Media,” and it reinforces the main goal of the program. The students represented an array of cultures and backgrounds. They participated in investigating all aspects of media and content development.

This summer camp is the brainchild of Hampton University professor Allie-Ryan Butler. Butler is a professor in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, and he worked tirelessly to create a concentrated, effective program that was centered on inspiring, elevating, and educating minority youth.

The program consisted of 12 days of activities, classes, and seminars. Each morning the students began the day with yoga on the waterfront. They then attended SAT and PSAT prep courses, and sometimes sat in on tapings of the “Digitalbytes” talk show series (the students had their meal in the studio as host Lawrence Rigby interviewed the special guest of the day).

After lunch the “dreamers” participated in hands-on courses in the subjects of coding, art and design, and videography. Expert alumni and employees of the University taught these courses. They proved pivotal to the campers for their final project, which required a marriage of each skill taught in these classes.

Following the instructional portion of the day the campers enjoyed many group activities like fireside chats (complete with s’mores and water balloon fights), a digital media scavenger hunt, karaoke, and games like manhunt on the campus grounds.

In addition to classes and daily activities, campers were required to participate in step practice to prepare for the production that took place at the end of camp. The step video would be this session of camper’s legacy of sorts, and it took many nights of practice to pull together.

Hampton University students Andrew Williams and Tra’Von Williams coached the campers through three step sequences. Many had never stepped before, and some even discovered a new passion. One camper was even inspired to continue stepping, stating, “I’m going to start a club at my school. I never thought I’d be good at stepping.”

Though meticulously structured, the program was punctuated by events that were strictly geared towards fun and socialization. A white party on the waterfront gave the campers a chance to dress up, eat a plated and served meal, and take thousands of pictures to commemorate their experience. The trip to Busch Gardens and the pajama party on the last night at camp gave the students an opportunity to let loose after the rigorous courses and the completion of their final projects.

The aforementioned final project required the DREAM campers to come up with an original idea for a mobile app, as well as create a trailer, website, and presentation for their product within one week. The campers were placed in teams of 5 and 6 for this challenge.

These teams were lead by the program’s resident assistants, Scripps Howard students Jusitn Alvis, Darryn Mumphery, Jalyn Sanders, Ryan Berry, Nick Acors, and Ricci Bostick. Head resident assistant Aaron Doggett supervised the teams throughout the process, along with program assistants Jalin Washington and Jessica Dortch.

Hands-on help was provided to the students by teaching assistants Keilan Roberson and Katrina Padilla. Though faced with a project that required skills many of them had just learned, the students met and exceeded expectations with their finished products. Their ideas covered the categories of fitness, music, leisure, education, and business.

Despite being a camp focused on education and enrichment, fun was still a priority. The campers bonded with the staff and established lifelong relationships with one another. “I felt loved here,” said one camper. Another camper commented, “I’ve never had so much fun while learning. I’ve been to a lot of camps, but this one definitely stands out. I want to come back next summer.”

The only criticism campers had to offer was that the program was too short. They’d like it to be extended to three weeks, at the least.