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Campus News

Graduating Senior Jamila Stevenson Admitted into Howard

by Christian Diaz, News Editor

Graduating senior Jamila Stevenson has been admitted into Howard University’s prestigious Master’s in Social Work program, the only grad school she applied to.

At Warren Wilson, she’s earned a plethora of experience that she says made her stand out as a candidate.

Stevenson’s been a leader in her college. Most notably, she started the Community Circle for Students of Color with Michael Carter. They both felt that the school was lacking a safe space for students to discuss their experiences at an overwhelmingly white institution. It was in this role that Stevenson felt like she was carving a home for herself on campus.

Stevenson also became involved with Our Voice during her time at Wilson; a non-profit focused on crisis intervention and prevention on behalf of victims of sexual violence. Twice a month she would be on call for the crisis hotline. Sometimes she would visit victims at Mission Hospital. There, she would talk to survivors, their families and police officers. Stevenson recalls a specific incident when she felt that she made a breakthrough with a caller.

“There was once a person who called me very late at night. They had recently started to remember experiences of incest and they were having a hard time trying to figure out what had happened, and how to deal with those memories. They were calling because they were in a state where they wanted to hurt themselves. We had a very long conversation. I finally asked what they wanted to do to pull them away from that harmful space. We talked about hobbies that relieve stress. At the end they decided to take a walk, but they sounded a lot better once the phone conversation ended. We are not allowed to call people back, even though we have their phone number. I have always wanted to call back and see how they are doing, but that’s a skill I’ve had to learn–how to let things go,” she said.

Stevenson says her time at Wilson was well spent. Even though this isn’t a perfect community, it is here that she learned what she’s about.

“I like the idea of empowering other people and not having the idea that ‘Oh, okay, I’m going to help you.’ Instead I want to ask what such person needs, what they want out of life, and how can I connect them to resources that will help them change what they want to change or build the life that they want to build,” she said.

Stevenson is the first person in her immediate family to graduate from high school, and the first of her extended family to graduate from college.

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