THE RENAISSANCE WOMAN

BLACK BOOK
LITTLE

CLASS of 2011

Arianne Napier Julissa Jansen-Morales LaPorscha Hardmon Mavis Achiaa Ofori Natashia Thomas Nicole Brown Sabeta Jarba Venchele Saint Dic

BLACK
LITTLE

THE RENAISSANCE WOMAN
BOOK

CLASS of 2011

renaissance woman
noun: A woman who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences.

Class of 2011

The Renaissance Woman

To the Class of 2011
Congratulations on this magnificent academic achievement! Your college tenure has been marked by numerous historical events in this country. In 2007, Nancy Pelosi became the first woman speaker of the House. In 2008, Barack Obama, of African descent, was elected the president of the United States. In 2009, Judge Sonia Sotomayor becomes the first Latina to sit on the United States Supreme Court. In 2010, we marked the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks’s courageous “sit” that helped launch the modern civil rights movement. In 2011 you will receive a college degree that will be integral to the success of your future endeavors. What will mark the coming years for you? An African-American proverb states that God makes three requests of his children: do the best you can, where you are, with

what you have, now. I encourage you to embrace the life lessons you have learned as an individual and those that we have learned together as a community and society. Live life passionately and be an active participant in your life and the lives of others. Remember that success is connected to action. Nurture your spirit and respect your gifts and talents. Share your light with others and it will reflect back on you. I wish you much deserved success as you join a legacy of women who have and continue to make the power of their presence known. Be Blessed,

Lisa
Lisa Smith-McQueenie Assistant Dean for Student Life, Multicultural Affairs & Adult Student Services

My “Rosa Parks” moment will be...
December 1st, 2010, was the 55th anniversary of the bus ride that took Montgomery, Alabama by storm. On that day, Rosa Parks, then 42, refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Her small move of activism started the 381-day bus strike. Little did either party know that the incident would become a fire under the civil rights movement.

We asked each senior to describe a moment she did a small act that had a large impact during her life or what she plans on doing. And they replied My “Rosa Parks” moment was or will be…

BLACK
LITTLE

THE RENAISSANCE WOMAN
BOOK

Historically, the Little Black Book has played an important role in affirming the presence and power of women of color of Simmons College. With every graduating class of powerful women of color, a new legacy is created. Your legacy begins now.

Simmons women are legendary for their commitment, compassion, and support of each other and of the community they are in. Draw inspiration from not only the successful alum around the world, but also from one another. You will be remembered for your compassion, strength, creativity and persistence.

Little Black Book is a remembrance of the experiences that each senior has once leaving their undergraduate career and pursuing a new path in life.

To the class of 2011, my big sistahs, CONGRATS! We are all very proud and hopeful for each and every one of you.

Best of luck,

Bianca Maxwell Harris Sister of Little Black Book ’11 Class of 2012

Letter from BSO Vice President Tatiana Johnson
To the Successful Simmons Women of Color,             You are wonderful, beautiful and full of inspiration. You are going to be the bosses, leaders, creators, change makers in this world. Thank you in advance for your success. As you go forward in this journey remember Simmons and the many people you have touched. Acknowledge that you have done so many great things already, such as graduating from college and making great connections to those around you. Remain confident, humble, proud and strong as you continue forward. I am so proud to have connected with such amazing sisters and friends, and to see you complete great things in your career, community and relationships. I am honored to write a letter to you, and I am pray positive energy follows you, wherever you go.   Love,        Tatiana

Letter from President Drinan
Dear Graduates, You have made the full journey -- soon you will be accomplished alumnae of Simmons College! We welcome you warmly to the proud community of women who have walked before you, striving as you have, pushing and pulling as you have, and finally soaring to the height of their capacity as you have. Unless you have come through all the tests and trials, it is impossible to savor the success. Now in many ways you start over again -- this time, however, with a badge of honor that communicates how well you have spent the past four years preparing yourselves. A Simmons education is that rare gift which only gets more valuable as you age -because its inherent worth is something you enhance and polish with each new accomplishment of your own. Hold tightly to that gift -- it is your constant reminder of what you can do and how well you can do it. I wish you the brightest and warmest futures ever! Fondly, Helen

Message from the Council of Black Administrators, Faculty and Staff (BAFAS) of Simmons College
It is again my honor and privilege on behalf of the Simmons College Council of Black Administrators Faculty and Staff (BAFAS) to congratulate each of you on your successful completion of this phase of your academic life here at Simmons College. In many of many of our lifetimes the mere fact that we were educated both as people of African descent and as women was in itself a revolutionary act. You must continue on this very revolutionary path. Many of you have, in the words of African American restaurateur, lifestyle expert, designer and author B.Smith “had to stand on a mountain of no’s to get to a yes!” and you will understand when civil rights pioneer A. Philip Randolph said: "At the banquet table of nature there are no reserved seats. You get what you can take, and you keep what you can hold. If you can't take anything, you won't get anything; and if you can't hold anything, you won't keep anything. And you can't take anything without organization." You are taking away with you from your time at Simmons College both the knowledge that you can do it and achieve much as well as the relationships and memories made over your time here. The black feminist and poet Audre Lorde said: “Even the smallest victory is never to be taken for granted. Each victory must be applauded...” Tonight’s celebration along with this Little Black Book 2011 captures a very special moment in your lives and in your journey to becoming a “Simmons Woman.” Lorde also said: “The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.” Now as Simmons women you must continue to find and speak with a loud, clear and purposeful voice; a voice which tells the stories of your ancestors and prepares a way for those who have yet to come after you; but you also have to make sure that you take the time to put you at the top of your own to do list. We are proud of you, our daughters and wish you well and want you to know that you always have a place in our hearts and in our collective Simmons experience and memory. Harambee, BAFAS

the class of 2011’s

BLACK
LITTLE BOOK

Featuring...

Arianne Napier Julissa Jansen-Morales LaPorscha Hardmon Mavis Achiaa Ofori Natashia Thomas Nicole Brown Sabeta Jarba Venchele Saint Dic

Women & Gender Studies
African Studies

Arianne Napier
I majored and minored in…because…
I majored and minored in Women & Gender Studies & African Studies because I believe in the power of women and more specifically women of color. Therefore, my major and minor are extensions of my belief and knowledge that women of color are multidimensional, complex, beautiful, powerful and in many cases have been at the foundation of many peoples success. Because of my strong beliefs and passion in work effecting women of color, I chose this major and minor to insure that I would work everyday on small and grand scales to combat these injustices and enforce positive notions.

As I look back, as a Freshman I wish I knew…
The people who would still be here at the end and the people who would no longer be here. I could have spent more time cherishing those relationships as opposed to others. I also wish I knew the potential I had, and wish I would have planned ahead a little more.

As I look forward, I hope to know… My life inside Simmons was… outside of Simmons it was…
My life inside Simmons was inspirational and empowering. This goes for the good and the bad. I have had challenging and wonderful moments at Simmons that have shaped my experiences, the way I perceive and interact with the world. I have found pride in my identities while at Simmons and I have no doubt that being apart of the Simmons community has fostered this development. My life outside of Simmons has been wonderful. I have had an unwavering great support system throughout my undergraduate career, from my family, friends, and professors, to other people who only stuck around to give me some inspiration. To all of them, I am thankful! I have made excellent career connections with folks and I have had fun along the way. The people who have been my unassigned mentors have encouraged me and believed in my intelligence and my drive when I wasn’t sure I was cut out for the challenge. To all them I am thankful because you were my support and my backbone some days. my own self-worth. I hope to know that I can find money where my passions lie, or maybe the money will no longer be of importance. I hope that I can do it, with challenges, bumps, cracks and pot holes in the journey. I hope to know every day that I will be resilient.

People will always remember me as…
Happy, smiling. Always laughing. Loud and strong voiced everywhere. In the fens, laughing again. As a leader, inclusive, opinionated, easy to talk to. Expressive. Emotive. Helpful. Remember as the person who said the things others didn’t want to say.

I will always remember…
The people who have touched my heart, shaped my experience, encouraged my passions, told me I wouldn’t make it. The quad, the black women at Simmons. Laughing in the fens and having public “taboo” conversations.

My promise for the future is…
That I will always do my best and give my all. I promise to always thank my supporters and to count my blessings. I promise that I will enter the future head on, with my eyes wide and my heart open but with some valuable learned lessons. I promise to always thank my mother! My promise for the future is that I will not be perfect. I will make mistakes and I promise to learn from them. I promise to carry my black queer woman-ness with me! I promise that I will not forget how far I’ve come, and how much further I have the ability to go.

What does it mean to the future of society for women to be of many talents, accomplishments and ambition?
It simultaneously means challenge and success. I don’t believe that society is ready for women of the Simmons College stature. Most of us are some powerful, head strong, leaders and filled with an array of accomplishments. The drive that women possess is like none other and the sooner society realizes that the better off they will be.

I am a “Renaissance Woman” because…
I am my most authentic self as often as possible. I have agency, self-awareness. I am fierce, look fierce in a suit, carry myself with pride, self-respect, and dignity. I am a Renaissance Woman because that’s what my mama (all of them) raised me to be.

A moving poem, quote, story from the Harlem Renaissance for me is…
"Sometimes I feel discriminated against, but it doesn’t make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me." — Zora Neale Hurston

My “Rosa Parks” moment was or will be…
something grand to someone. I will know when I see it because I will have left my handprint in history or at least someone's memory. Perhaps it will be in the form of a conversation, a dialogue, facilitation, or when/if I write a book. The moment or every moment I make change!

My Sugar Honey Baby Girl, Oh my goodness! I dreamed of this moment for many years and now it’s coming true. I never thought about writing a Farewell Letter to you, but I realize it really is a kind of parting because you’re moving from being my baby girl to my friend who happens to be my baby girl too. Arianne, I love you and I could not be prouder of what you’ve accomplished, of the wonderful woman you’ve become, of the way you dream your dreams and make them come true. When you walk, I’ll be there to cheer you on as I cry tears of happiness. I love you! Mom

Arianne Napier, As I write this letter I know exactly where to start. I would first like to thank you for being you. You have opened my eyes to new and different experiences as well as challenging me to ask more questions; to investigate and to go with my gut. I do not know where I would be without you in my Simmons experience. I do however think that it would have been very uneventful for the most part. The bond that we have come to form will surpass Simmons. You know how they say that every person on this earth

is allowed three great loves (for me I count my closet friends). Well you are a part of the three. You are one of my best friends and I say that with confidence. You are amazing…amazingly beautiful…and amazingly beautiful inside and out. You WILL do great things in life. You WILL succeed(because you have no other option). You WILL fulfill your hopes, dreams and desires. So, please do me a favor. Dream big, reach far and never stop being you. Make changes in the world. Effect what people consider the “norm”. And please continue to challenge, impact and spread your knowledge. You inspire all around you, and you have inspired me. Best wishes love! Beta (Sabeta )

You put everyone around you at ease and you shed a kind of glowing light everywhere you go because it comes from your heart. You are truly a one of a kind, and an inspiration and a simply amazing, fierce, strong, beautiful, intelligent, and talented woman. I know you and I will always have each other throughout our journeys, wherever life may take us both. I know we will continue to be there for each other, and don’t worry, I will remember to believe in your love for me when it gets difficult sometimes and we haven’t talked in awhile. I know we will come back to each other and stay in one another’s life. So this is me saying thank you for being in my life, and for being you. And this is anything but a “farewell” letter because it will never be goodbye for you and me; it’s just see you later. I love you, Katie

Ari, This is impossible…It feels so strange, unnatural and just wrong to be writing any kind of letter like this to you. I never imagined sitting down and trying to compose a “farewell” note to you of all people, which I guess is what I’m supposed to be doing. But, that’s just not going to happen because I’m never saying goodbye to you. So instead, I will say this: From the day I sat down next to you on the couch in Java City and we started to talk and become a part of each other’s life, you have been, without a doubt, one of my best friends and one of the most amazing women I know in my life. The relationship you and I have is something that words just cannot explain or define. You hold such a special unique place in my heart, hidden away from everything else. You are the person I know I can call on to be completely brutally honest with me when I couldn’t be completely honest with myself, or even when I didn’t want to hear the truth, but needed to. Our relationship had its twists and turns and crazy moments in the beginning, but somewhere between the flirting, FYE class, and all the craziness in between, something irreplaceable and special began to form that has not left me the same ever since we met. I can honestly say that my experiences that I have had at Simmons so far would not have happened the way they did, and many of them may not have happened at all if you had not come into my life. You gave me a piece of ground to stand on, so that I could claim it and become the person I love and am proud to be now. We have always had this “give and take, love and hate (but not really hate), lean on me and I’ll lean on you, I got your back, you annoy the crap out of me but I love you to death, we could sit in silence or we could talk for hours, call me any time of the day or night” kind of a relationship. You mean more to me than I will ever be able to convey to you in our lifetimes, but know this: I love you with all my soul and I would go anywhere, and do anything for you if you ever need me. I can’t tell you enough times how much you mean to me. With you, I can feel 100% comfortable just being my crazy, dorky, true, genuine self. We can talk about sex as if we were talking about the weather and neither one of us looks at the other strangely when we discuss our most recent scandalous adventures from the past weekend, comparing to see whose story is juicier or more daring. There are so many meaningful conversations that you and I have had together, while smoking a clove outside on the quad and breathing in the fresh spring air or huddling close together because it was freezing outside. I’m overwhelmed right now as I’m sitting here thinking about all the memories we have shared together, and I know it’s just not possible to write them all down. I cannot explain to you, how much I enjoy our cuddle sessions/spooning special time together and it never fails to shock me every time when we just fit so easily and well together. I love dancing with you and I will never stop making fun of you when we’re walking down the street and you start doing your New York style power walk. You know I’ll never stop making fun of you…It’s just too much fun. You bring so much happiness and laughter into my life! You constantly challenge me, and push me, and make me want to continue to better myself and always strive to be curious and know more. You are such a beautiful person, inside and out, truly and completely. I’m going to be cliché right now (seriously though, this is me, what were you expecting?) because I need to tell you that if I were to say that you light up a room when you walk into it, I would be making a serious understatement. yo, this on goes out to arianne napier: i wish i could tell you how much i appreciate you how much you mean to me how much i value your time and energy you're truly exceptional and you've taught me more than i can state in a farewell letter i pray that you get mad rich and revel in success i pray that you smile a lot more than anything else, and run this earth like the boss you are i pray that you become god mother for one of my many children (someday) i pray that you exhale any negativity with every breath i pray that you absorb the world's beautiful music, without your ipod :( i pray that in whatever path you choose that you will love every step of the way i pray that our friendship grows stronger and that we find out more and more why we are kindred spirits i pray that you blossom, i pray that you stretch past your limits, that you grow and reach each and every dream you have for yourself i pray that you know you remember you're worth it, because I know you know it i pray that we never lose touch. and that we will always go together like the rhymes in Nicki's lyrics. you are truly the best. and i love you, and i really mean it. Love, Tati

To My Dearest Baby Sister, I remember the first day I held you in my arms, your thick black hair all curly and wild, your head all wobbly because you were not yet strong enough to hold yourself up. Now I will have the honor and the privilege to watch you walk with your class and receive your diploma. This time our embrace will not be me holding you up but my arms wrapped tight around you as you stand tall, strong, beautiful and magnificent. I look forward to many more laughs, smiles and memories. My world will always be a happier place simply because you are in it! Loving you Always, Sylvia "One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again." -Henry Ford-

Julissa Jansen-Morales!
Communications
I majored and minored in…because…
I majored in Communications because I realized I wanted to be a journalist. The thrill in investigating, creating, and taking pictures was what attracted me to the career. When I got to Simmons and took classes relating to public relations, graphic design, and advertising, I realized there's so much I can do with a Communications degree.

My promise for the future is…
My promise for the future is to write stories for those who have no voice.

My life inside Simmons was…outside of Simmons it was…
I wasn't very involved at Simmons my first three years. It was until my Senior year, when I joined BSO and The Simmons Voice that my life outside of Simmons was very much my life inside of Simmons. Everywhere I went, I carried my Moleskin reporter notebook and always checked my e-mail to see if I had to design a last-minute flyer for BSO. I loved it.

As I look back, as a Freshman I wish I knew…
I wish I knew to get involved right away. Being involved means, late nights, long meetings, extra work but it also gives me the opportunity to know other students, get to know faculty and staff as well as put me in a leadership position.

As I look forward, I hope to know…
As I look forward I hope to know that I will never be in a situation where I shall compromise my integrity. Simmons has instilled in me the values of sisterhood, the commitment to make a difference, and the search of knowledge. I hope that these values will stay with me forever.

People will always remember me as…
People will always remember me as the go-to when they needed something to design. I would put pen to paper, or finger to trackpad and just work away.

I will always remember…
I will always remember lunch in the Fens where discussions would range from pop culture, race relations, religion, politics or last night's event.

What does it mean to the future of society for women to be of many talents, accomplishments and ambition?
There are already women of many talents, accomplishments and with great ambition. We just have to make sure society will recognize it.

I am a “Renaissance Woman” because…
I love, I care, I create, I investigate, I laugh, I cry. I am.

A moving poem, quote, story from the Harlem Renaissance for me is…
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. -Zora Neale Hurston

My “Rosa Parks” moment was or will be…
My Rosa Parks moment will be when I walk across the stage, diploma in hand, knowing my parents' sacrifice to move to this country was worth it for them and for my siblings.

Juki You are my heart. youre so amazing. i cannot believe you have not been in my life sooner. you mean so much to me, and i never ever never ever want to lose contact. when we get famous we can do famous things and do pompous frowns and drink soda or juice (your choice). we can be on the set on community, snl, modern family or any other funny sitcom. i would like you to godmother one of my children as well...you have until i have them to give me an answer about that. :) thanks for being the one i can laugh with and for knowing my humor better than anyone! you're so fuuuuuuuuuu awesome... love, tati

LaPorscha Hardmon
Nursing
I majored and minored in…because…
I majored in nursing because when I was just twelve years of age my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. Having to watch her go through her treatments and be admitted into the hospital every to every other weekend was hard. But she had wonderful nurses, especially her Hospice nurse. I would never forget Joan the Nurse and everything she did for my mother and I as we went through these difficult times in our lives. She impacted me and from that day on I knew I wanted to impact a young person in the way she had done me. Not only that but make someone's life better even in the last days of their lives. Joan the Nurse was my inspiration! So I thank my mother, her nurse Joan and my family for why I majored in Nursing! One of the best choices I've ever made thus far.

What does it mean to the future of society for women to be of many talents, accomplishments and ambition?
It's a great leap for society for women to be of many talents, accomplishments and ambitions. Most already are and now will be able to bring their daughter up in that fashion. It will be a new respect for black women as a whole.

I am a “Renaissance Woman” because… My life inside Simmons was…outside of Simmons it was…
My life inside Simmons was always fun when I lived on campus as a freshman. I enjoyed being around other people. And life outside of Simmons was always hectic for me but the faculty helped me get through. I am a Renaissance Woman because as of May 2011 I completed college while going through many trials and tribulations, while being a wife at a young age and a mother of two. I set my goals and completed them and will continue doing so. I am a Renaissance Woman because I can teach my children to reach for the stars regardless of what obstacles come in their lives, make the best of it and continue to their goals. I am a Renaissance Woman because I always put God first!

As I look back, as a Freshman I wish I knew…
As I look back, as a Freshman I wish I knew how important Freshman year alone was.

A moving poem, quote, story from the Harlem Renaissance for me is…
I'm not sure if this poem was from the Renaissance, but Langston Hughes "A Dream Deferred" was always a moving poem for me.

As I look forward, I hope to know…
As I look forward, I hope to know everything! Simmons has made me into a sponge! I want to soak up as much as I possibly can.

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?

People will always remember me as…
People will always remember me as kind and caring but really silly with a weird laugh!

I will always remember…
I will always remember the friendships and bonds that were created during my time at Simmons. Definitely came to know some "for a lifetime" friends.

My promise for the future is…
My promise for the future is to be the best nurse I can be and to continue to further my education.

My “Rosa Parks” moment was or will be…
My Rosa Parks moment has yet to come but I am sure as a nurse I will have lots of small acts that will have large impacts on my life but most of all the lives of others.

Mavis Achiaa Ofori
Marketing

To know what the world has for me, after I graduate from Simmons.

People will always remember me as…
As a very outgoing and nice person who is willing to lend a helping hand.

I will always remember…
The delicious grilled chicken at Fens Cafeteria.

My promise for the future is…
Is to build on the leadership skills that I have acquired from Simmons to make the world a better place for women. And also to serve as a role model and a mentor wherever I find myself.

I majored and minored in… because…
In Marketing because I love to make people happy and satisfied. Marketing gave me the opportunity to fulfill my passion and childhood dream.

What does it mean to the future of society for women to be of many talents, accomplishments and ambition?
It is going to be so much fun,very challenging, because we will be competing with our male counterparts. Women will be able to break new grounds and close the ceiling gap.

I am a “Renaissance Woman” because…
I will never let anyone manipulate me.

My life inside Simmons was…outside of Simmons it was…
It was very exciting and challenging. Being a transferred student from a different country the transition was smooth, because of the multi cultural environment. Outside of Simmons i have been able to parlay my knowledge in marketing at my retail job and my community.

A moving poem, quote, story from the Harlem Renaissance for me is…
The legacy of Harlem Renaissance opened doors and deeply influenced the generation of African American women.

As I look back, as a Freshman I wish I knew…
I was a transfer student and my first semester was all I expected.

My “Rosa Parks” moment was or will be…
To make sure I fight for my right and get a fair treatment in all aspect of my professional career.

As I look forward, I hope to know…

Natashia Thomas
I majored and minored in…because…
Ever since I was a child I dreamed of being my own boss. My father founded his own oil company, which inspired me to become a business savvy woman. Independence. Being the youngest of six children I usually depended on my siblings, but as time passed I became independent doing for myself; therefore segueing into my educational and career choices which is why I am a management major with a minor in leadership.

Management Minor in Leadership

which is to create a health clinic. By establishing a clinic I can actively combine my passions of creating a place that serves the youth, educates future generations to generate change in the community in which I serve.

What does it mean to the future of society for women to be of many talents, accomplishments and ambition?
Women must be a jack of all trades in order to progress. Possessing multiple talents, accomplishments and ambition will aid creating a better future. Talents such as singing or painting can bring awareness to specific social issues. Accomplishments such as completing the furthest extent of education will validate

My life inside Simmons was…outside of Simmons it was…
Inside Simmons I was all about getting my education and participating in the clubs that could fit into my schedule. Outside of Simmons I dedicated most of my time volunteering in the Boston community as well as working with multiple non-profits. One activity that demands a lot of my free time is the Rachel Lorraine Thomas Memorial Scholarship, which my mother began in honor of sister’s dream to become a schoolteacher. As a board member I evaluate applications and the board collectively decides on a student to receive the scholarship. Over the past five years we have awarded six students who plan to pursue a career in education, from the local high school in my hometown. To me this is one of my biggest accomplishments outside of the classroom. Each year I create ways to fundraise and aid in the award ceremony presentation.

I am a “Renaissance Woman” because…
I am a Renaissance Woman because I am true to myself.

A moving poem, quote, story from the Harlem Renaissance for me is…
The Harlem Renaissance was the rebirth of Black Culture, where agency and autonomy were key in creating a positive view of Black people. During this time Zora Neale Hurston, a writer, was a significant player in building Black culture and studying black folklore. A compilation of quotes from Zora Neale Hurston that are the most reminiscent of Harlem Renaissance and still hold a great meaning to me today are: “Among the thousand white persons, I am a dark rock surged upon, and overswept, but through it all, I remain myself. When covered by the waters, I am; and the ebb but reveals me again." "...I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. “Someone is always at my elbow reminding me that I am the granddaughter of slaves. It fails to register depression with me” “Slavery is the price I paid for civilization, and the choice was not with me. It is a bully adventure and worth all that I have paid through my ancestors for it.”

As I look back, as a Freshman I wish I knew…
I wish I knew how important it was to get involved and stay involved in the Simmons community.

As I look forward, I hope to know…
I hope to know where I will be and what I will be doing five years from now.

People will always remember me as…
People will always remember me as an outgoing unique individual, who is quiet until they get to know me.

I will always remember…
I will always remember all the experiences I have had throughout my four years at Simmons.

My “Rosa Parks” moment was or will be…
Recently, I interned at a Boston –based non-profit HIV/ AIDs organization, as the management liaison intern and doubling as the volunteer coordinator. Working with this non-profit gave me insight on the disparities in access to health care, which provided the needed fuel to ignite action. While interning I revamped their recruiting methods and recruited approximately 40 volunteers, which I believe was the necessary stride to aid in closing the gaps within access to health care.Having more volunteers allowed us to provide pertinent information regarding one of the world’s most virulent pandemics to a large number of Boston residents.

My promise for the future is…
I have developed a passion to aid the community in which I live, especially the inner-city youth. I am determined to become an active agent of change, and I am aware that furthering my education will allow me to do so. Following graduation I plan to get a masters degree in Health care Management. After discovering sexual health education disparities and the increased rates of STD’s and HIV/AIDS among the youth, I devised a solution,

Nicole Alyssa Brown

Communications
Minor in Photography

I majored and minored in…because…
I majored in Communications because I wanted to have a degree that allowed me to do a wide range of things post-college life. Communications has so many aspects to it and at Simmons, I was able to experiment with all of those things. My minor in photography complimented everything else I learned.

I will always remember…
my college years. The farther I move away from them, the more I realize that they were some of the best years of my life.

My life inside Simmons was…outside of Simmons it was…
My life inside Simmons influenced my life outside of Simmons. When I first stepped onto the campus, I felt a sense of community. People usually assume that a group of women together means nothing but drama and cattiness: Simmons is the opposite of that. Without the wonderful friends I had and close relationships with my professors, I wouldn't have reached my highest potential. I was able to take everything that I learned inside of Simmons and apply it to my relationships and decisions made outside of school.

My promise for the future is…
to make my mother proud.

What does it mean to the future of society for women to be of many talents, accomplishments and ambition?
It means a lot. Society is constantly changing and evolving; as women, we need to evolve with it or we'll miss the opportunity to influence positive change.

As I look back, as a Freshman I wish I knew…
that renting textbooks is wayyyyy cheaper than buying them!!

I am a “Renaissance Woman” because… As I look forward, I hope to know…
happiness. More specifically happiness for myself...I'm still trying to find out what that is, but I look forward to whatever that may be! I use all of the talents and capabilities God has given me to the best of my ability.

People will always remember me as…
being a hardworker. Period. I've truly worked for everything I have now and supported myself for most of my college career. I want people to remember me making my own dreams and goals a reality.

My “Rosa Parks” moment was or will be…
I'm not sure what my Rosa Parks moment will be. I think I still have a lot to do in life and I don't seek those type of moments. They say that like a butterfly, when you chase after something, you'll never find it; but if you're patient and live your life as you should- what you want will land on your shoulder.

Sabeta Jarba
Psychology
Minor in Leadership

I majored and minored in…because…
I majored in Psychology because I have always been interested in helping others. From my first Psychology class in high school until now, the urge to help others has never changed. My minor in Leadership occurred sponteanously though, but I knew it was a perfect fit after learning about the minor. I choose Leadership as my minor because I believe that leaders can be born, but they are not perfect. In order to be a good leader one has to be willing to build upon their natural skills and abilities and by taking up my minor, that is what I am determined to do.

I will always remember…
The endless hours spent in Bartol talking, laughing, and eating.

My promise for the future is…
To make every step count, every interaction impressive and to turn heads while doing so.

My life inside Simmons was…outside of Simmons it was…
My life inside of Simmons College has been active, fun, inspiring, and always surprising. Outside of Simmons College, I always knew that I was a representation of my college, and I have always kept that in mind with every action and every interaction that I have had.

As I look back, as a Freshman I wish I knew…
That friends come and go and the ones that grow and mature with you, are the ones that are worth keeping.

As I look forward, I hope to know…
How to keep growing and developing as an individual.

People will always remember me as…
Joyful and radiant!

What does it mean to the future of society for women to be of many talents, accomplishments and ambition?
For the future, it means that women will continue to do what they have always done. Women have always worn many hats, and we will continue to do so, it is in our nature.

I am a “Renaissance Woman” because…
I will make my own way and I stay true to myself while doing so.

Farewell Letters from Peers, Family

A moving poem, quote, story from the Harlem Renaissance for me is…
"Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me." -Zora Neale Hurston

My “Rosa Parks” moment was or will be…
When I return to Liberia, West Africa where I was born and start a community center devoted to the growth of the Liberian youth.

Dear Sabeta, I am continually impressed by your energy and dedication to the Simmons campus and Simmons Community. I truly believe that one of the greatest examples of this is the fact that for the first few weeks after I met you I was fairly certain you lived on campus. It is impressive to maintain a high level of involvement even when you have a long commute to face at the beginning and end of your days! I have seen so many leadership skills in your positions at Simmons - I know that whatever you decide to do you will go far and you will go fast. I want to encourage you to take time to breathe, enjoy the journey and "smell the roses" where ever your life takes you. I believe that if you take time to do those two simple things you are well on your way to a magnificent and enjoyable life. You have brought so much to the Simmons Campus in the way of vibrancy i know that your legacy will go on well beyond your time here. Please stay in touch and continue to do great things! With zest & optimism,

My Dearest Sabeta, John Robert O'Connor What do I say to a woman who has been there for me, my support from the very first day we met? They suggest that I should say farewell to you, but to me that's not an option. Yes, I know I'm awful about staying in touch but it doesn't matter how often we speak, and this has always been true with us we find our way back to each other. Sabeta you are a fierce woman, I am proud to call you.......my best friend. Over the past four years you have been with me through a lot, and you have rightfully earned this title. Through the laughs, the tears, crazy outings at crazy venues, spring breaks together, we have been through so much and yet there is still so much more for us to experience together. So, I will use this opportunity to tell you thank you. Thank you for teaching me. You demand presence, respect, you are charismatic and you are wonderful. Graduating from Simmons is only the beginning of the many gifts life has to offer you, and frankly I'm not sure the world is ready for a woman of your caliber. I can't wait to be there with you every step of the way! I look forward to all the calls and the meetings in random cities! Keep smiling my love! Arianne J Napier

Dear Sabeta, Where do I even begin... thank you for everything. For being patient and for laughing with me, and being the sweetest. I can honestly say we have developed a friendship that makes us more like sisters than anything else :) I am so honored to know you like that, and I genuinely never ever want to lose contact with you. You are so beautiful and you've got success written on everything you do. I know you're about to be one of my successful friends... lol. When you leave Simmons and try to etch past memories out of your mind, please don't forget me! Don't forget all the ladies on the BSO e-board, and our Bartol talks, and our last minute planning calls. You have such a positive presence and please carry that wherever you go. I am so happy and proud of all you have done, and will done. I pray that you never fail and that you get everything you deserve in whatever you do! I truly look up to you, you have taught me more than, you would think, and I love you so much! Love,
Tati

I majored and minored in…because…
I majored in Public Health because I have an interest to go the public interest field. Specifically I hope to bridge the gap in access to care nd health inequity in marginalized populations. Finally, I hope to join the Peace Corps and to attain a Master's degree in Public Health. I minored in Spanish because I feel that in order to be an effective Public Health educator, I have to use my language skills in order to reach out to a larger range of patients.

Public Health
Minor in Spanish

My life inside Simmons was…outside of Simmons it was…
Simmons not only has given me a voice but a deep desire to make innovative change. As I entered the doors of Simmons, my life was forever changed. Simmons nurtured my intellect and challenged me to think beyond the classroom setting. I have been given a set of mentors and experiences I will carry with me in my life after Simmons.

As I look back, as a Freshman I wish I knew…
As a Freshman, I wish I knew about the mulititude of Summer programs that available to students of color interested in the health field.

As I look forward, I hope to know…
As I look forward, I hope to continue overcoming my fears and looking beyond my boundaries to be part of causes greater than myself. I hope to know how to be a pioneer woman in my field and to mentor future leaders.

Venchele Saint Dic

People will always remember me as…
People will always remember me as the student who came to Simmons and made a way out of no way. They will also remember me as the positive role model who always saw opportunities in any venture and who deeply values mentoring relationships.

I will always remember…
I will always remember my mentor, friends and my big sisters who have been supportive of my goals and who have pushed me to go above and beyond.

My promise for the future is…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others
-Marianne Williamson

My promise for the future is to continue saving the lives of many young women who have been told they would never obtain success. I want to continue teaching young women that they are possible and that they are worthy beyond measure.

I am a “Renaissance Woman” because… What does it mean to the future of society for women to be of many talents, accomplishments and ambition?
From a personal stance, the future of society will be determined by the caliber of the characters of future women. We need to strive to break the glass ceiling because if we keep the status quo, we will always be left behind and never rise to our highest potential. I am a "Renaissance Woman" because I always strive to be the change I want to see in the world. I always believe that there is hope that the future generation will continue breaking through barriers.

My “Rosa Parks” moment was or will be…
When I am able to return to Haiti and help in orphanages for children who have been hit by the earthquake in January.

Additional Farewell Letters
JEL!
I love you so much! You are the epitome of relaxed! and I love it! I truly hope we never lose contact, I need you in my life, for real! Thanks so much for the late night movie watching and the all night talks! You are so awesome and I cannot wait to travel to wherever you are to see you! I pray that you continue your success and maintain your calmness, the world needs it! Love, Tati

T,
I just wanted to say i love you. and i am going to miss you very very very much. i love hanging out with you so don't forget me! love, Tati

Toun,
I just wanted to say, you are so hilarious, and smart and beautiful. Don't change! love, Tati

Rosy,
You are the sweetest, most hard core and tenacious person I know. You've set the bar for a lot of things at Simmons and I know you will continue to do so as you enter the 'real world'. I cannot wait to see you get inaugurated as President of the United States someday, seriously! Thank you for all the late night talks, laughs and the venting sessions. I know we won't lose touch and I am going to make every effort to make sure that statement stays true. I am always going to remember our laughs about awkward situations and dancing at Soiree. Thanks for being so nice to me, my first year, although you may not remember it, but you helped make me feel wanted at Simmons in so many different ways. So long story short, continue being a boss and continue smiling :) Love, Tati

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It's the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can't touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can't see. I say, It's in the arch of my back, Now you understand Just why my head's not bowed. I don't shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing I say, It's in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, 'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. The sun of my smile, I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. And the joy in my feet. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.

Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou

BLACK
LITTLE

THE RENAISSANCE WOMAN
BOOK

CLASS of 2011

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