Creating Equal Opportunity
No one would ever know that Selena Brown, Class of 2020, was once intimidated by the thought of attending the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University. Selena was accepted into the competitive, alternative education program as an incoming freshman, and since then, has transformed from nervous student to leader, becoming both an Honors Peer mentor and a Student Ambassador.
“I think it’s an intimidating thing at any school to be in something that has an honors status,” Selena says. “However, the Meijer Honors College’s whole focus is on leading and supporting students, and it has been really beneficial for me.”
The Meijer Honors College, as well as the many different organizations that Selena is a part of, has helped her gain experience and prepared her for life after graduation. While Selena has taken on leadership roles that have helped change the lives of those around her, she also realizes that her own life has been transformed by the generosity of donors who support the Meijer Honors College.
“I personally would not be at Grand Valley if it wasn’t for the donors,” she says. “I think that everything that I’ve accomplished thus far, and everything that I aim to do, is all because of the donors and the opportunities I’ve had because of what they’ve given to Grand Valley.”
One of Selena’s goals is to use what she’s learned as a Meijer Honors student to create better learning and working environments for all. Selena is studying elementary and special education, and hopes to someday work with individuals with special needs in post-high school programs.
“After volunteering with Special Olympics, I just fell in love with that population,” Selena says. “They’re a really fun group of people and I think that our society has a lot to learn from them about love and acceptance and inclusion.”
Along with working in a post-high school setting, Selena also aspires to create equal opportunities by someday opening a business that employs individuals with disabilities.
“I want my Laker Effect to be a world where individuals with disabilities are supported and accepted and included,” she says. “I really want to see a world where these individuals have the opportunity for employment and for them to independently live on their own and to be accepted in the work place.”