The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development sat down with Nia Johnson, a senior at Binghamton University who identifies as a student of color. She is a talented and involved campus leader with a lot of insights and advice. Please read below to hear her story!
1. What adversities have you faced as a woman of color?
I struggled a lot with imposter syndrome when I was a freshman. In many of my classes I was one of the five Black women in my classes and most of the time the conversations were not relative to my background. So I would find myself asking myself “do I really belong here?” and “should I transfer to a school back home?” I was given many opportunities at BU but it was the feeling of isolation that was my main adversity.
2. What programs and resources helped you during your undergraduate career?
The Educational Opportunity Program helped me tremendously during my undergraduate career. The EOP office gave me an advisor as well as a community of support as a student of color on a predominately white campus. When I had moments of doubt EOP was there to validate me and offer me continuous support.
3. Are you involved in any extracurricular activities? If so, how have they shaped your college experience?
Outside of being President of the Student Association, I am the Senior Advisor for the Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program (J.U.M.P). We mentor NYC 8th graders who are at-risk to teach them that higher education is attainable. J.U.M.P gave me a home away from home and a second family. I became involved in J.U.M.P my freshman year as an intern then I became one-half Public Relations Committee and then one-half of the Mentoring Committee. During my time as an executive board member, I was taught some valuable skills and were mentored by amazing women of color who showed me what it meant to be a student leader.
4. What advice would you give to fellow women of color students?
Do not leave any door closed or any stone unturned. Take each opportunity you are offered because it will lead to greater opportunities. And if no space is provided to you do not be afraid to make a space for yourself.
5. How has mentorship played a role in your success as a woman of color?
During my time as an executive board member for the Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program, I was taught some valuable skills and were mentored by amazing women of color who showed me what it meant to be a student leader. I was also mentored by former SA President Khaleel James, and introduced me to the world of SA and how much of a voice students do and should have on a college campus.