Sashae Mitchell is addressing both education and anti-racism in Kalamazoo, Michigan
My involvement with the Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Institute for Service Learning at Kalamazoo College, sparked my passion for education. I worked with an after school tutoring program (Community Advocates for Parents and Students, CAPS) in Kalamazoo that aided in my understanding of the education system in the United States. As an international student from Jamaica, I was not aware of the racial injustices still present in the US and even in the education system. My time with the students in CAPS motivated me to continue working with disadvantaged students by helping them realize their potential to be successful. As a recent graduate of Kalamazoo College, I plan to continue this type of work by first working with the Upjohn Institute in Kalamazoo to do research on education in Kalamazoo. In addition, I plan to pursue my graduate work in Education Policy.
Inspirations and Influences
The students at CAPS inspired me. I developed a relationship with many of them and it was always fulfilling to see their interest and enthusiasm to do well. It took some time to connect with some of them that were deemed ‘hopeless’ but with the right approach, I was able to reach them as I believe that every child has the ability to excel in one way or another. These moments were the best and only encouraged me to continue doing this work.
Quote: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill
Field of work: Anti-Racism, Racial Injustices in the Education system
This type of work can be very fulfilling and even exhausting at times, both emotionally and physically. One thing that has worked for me is being able to take care of myself while doing this work. It sounds simple but it proved very essential as an unhealthy body cannot do this work effectively. So, I would encourage everyone who is involved in any type of social justice work to remember to take care of yourself.