My name is Niki, and I am a freshman this year at NAU. I am a first year Blavin. I plan on majoring in Theater (Performance), with an Associate’s in Dance, a minor in vocal and instrumental music, and a minor in creative writing. I am extremely excited to get involved in The Bad Jacks, which is a hip hop dance club at NAU, and I am uber-anxious to be a part of the NAU Quidditch team. I plan on working, but I am still currently exploring my options. I hope to do something that is geared towards my major in theater or writing. I spent two years in the foster care system, but that was certainly not when the problems that lead me there began. I consider myself a part of the system from the moment the problem started, which was the day I was born. It’s all about perspective. I spent my time in the system in the Peoria/Glendale/Phoenix area. The Blavin Scholars Program will allow me to feel safe for the first time in my life. Everything has felt shaky, and now this scholarship allows me to feel like I am finally standing on solid ground. I will not have to worry about my future or if I have enough money. It is an opportunity to take my life and shape it the way I want. When I graduate, I want to move to New York and be an actor on Broadway and a published author. I am considering a “back up” career as well, but I have not completely set what that career will be. No matter what, I want to go for my dreams, but I would also like to find a career where I can impact the world. Whether I find a career in activism, as a lawyer, or a medical research scientist, I am not sure. These are the ideas I am currently pondering. Lately, I think I would prefer to dedicate my time to helping animals. My emotional support dog has done so much for me, and I have a passion for all animals. I do not believe you have to have everything decided, as long as you have some plan. I am just going to work my hardest, remember what I want, and look for the opportunities God sets in my path.
Our Blavin Scholars are such shining stars. Take Rochelle for example. She’s been selected to visit the White House not once, but twice. Her first visit was in July 2014 when she was asked to meet with the Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan and First Lady Michelle Obama to share about her experience in foster care and pathway to the University of Michigan. Then, Rochelle was invited back this past July for the 2015 Beating the Odds Summit hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. Rochelle served on a panel to speak to over 130 college-bound students about tools and strategies for successfully transitioning to college. Way to go, Rochelle!
Pedro is from Detroit, MI majoring in Sociology. While at Michigan, Pedro became a member of Zeta Psi as well as participated in Michigan Club Boxing Team, the Black Volunteer Network, and the Multicultural Association of Pre-health students. He has also worked at WBCN the student radio station and served as an IT consultant with University Michigan Sites. After graduation Pedro hopes to find employment opportunities that will utilize his experiences in the technology field as well one that offers international travel opportunities. Congratulations, Pedro!
Billie is from Caro, Michigan and graduating with a degree in German and History. Billie speaks six languages including German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, Swedish, and American Sign Language. While at Michigan she participated in MRun, and served as a volunteered at Tappan Middle school working with special education students. Billie hopes to continue her education by completing a Masters Degree in Education with a teacher certification and a special education certification. Congratulations, Billie!
Bobby is from Avoca, MI and earned a double Major in History and Asian Studies along with a Certification in Entrepreneurship. Outside of the classroom Bobby served on the Executive Board for the Michigan Club Lacrosse team and also served as the director of apparel. He also participated in the Michigan Powerlifting team. After graduation Bobby will begin his career at TTI (Techtronic Industries) in Mohegan Lake, New York as a Field Sales Representative in their Leadership Development program. Congratulations, Bobby!