The opportunity to attend Florida A&M University on a band scholarship led to me to Tallahassee, FL at age 17. The experience changed my life for the better. The lessons learned during my time there helped me grow greatly.
During my junior year, I was removed from the band after missing the Governors inaugural parade. The next semester Drum Major, Robert Champion, lost his life after participating in a hazing ritual that I underwent the year before. This tragedy caused me to think deeply about hazing and work to create change.
The following year I enrolled in the universities Community Psychology program and began working with the Anti Hazing Research Initiative. Although the research is important, the implications and follow up actions are just as meaningful.
One year ago today, this platform was created to take action. Empowering young people to prevent hazing and supporting healthy participation in groups is something I believe in. Through collaborations with organizations that have the same mission, workshops and presentations, and other methods the message is spreading.
As I reflect today on my 27th birthday, I look forward to a future where hazing is eliminated. We will continue to work towards that goal together.