Sophomore, Journalism and Mass Communications – Editing and Graphic Design / Minor-Religious Studies
Andrew was born and raised in Raleigh, NC, and am now a sophomore planning on majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications (with a concentration in Editing and Graphic Design) and minoring in Religious Studies at UNC. Aside from hiking and being outside, he enjoys reading, writing poetry, doodling, and thinking creatively. Andrew values diversity, creativity, sincerity, friendship, and positive attitudes. He currently serves in the student government as Co-Chair on the Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Outreach committee and enjoy participating in all the cultural activities offered at UNC. He says that while future beyond graduation (with the Class of 2016) is uncertain, he hope to make an impact and leave a legacy that assists in the promotion of community and acceptance for future generations.
“There are many factors that fuel my passion for diversity and inclusiveness across UNC’s campus. The most significant influence on my fascination with diversity comes from the unique dichotomy I noted between my high school experiences and my first few years at UNC. In high school, I was in the closet about my sexuality and I constantly feared the possibility of my peers finding out about it and humiliating me. I felt constant pressure from my friends, my friends’ parents, my teachers, and my cultural surroundings to conform and reject the things that made me different. Unfortunately, this forced me feel like I must reject love, since the deeper attractions I felt towards other people were taboo and out of line. During the summer after graduating from high school, I came out to my family and a few of my friends. This first, timid step into accepting who I am was truly eye-opening. I could finally feel a love towards all of those around me that I had been suppressing for so long out of guilt and shame. This love that I felt was a true sense of community. Almost all of my friends from diverse cultural, religious, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds accepted me, culminating in a feeling of relief and comfort that was intoxicating. Coming into UNC’s community, I immediately felt a sense of belonging and inclusiveness that was even stronger than what I had experienced back at home. Meeting countless new friends from out-of-state and international backgrounds fascinated me. Just hearing about the experiences of others across the world and attempting to understand the intriguing journeys they had all undergone to get to UNC became a passion. I wanted to help everyone feel the same sense of acceptance and community that I had been gifted with earlier that summer. My interest in global experiences and cultural backgrounds has led me to add Religious Studies as a minor and has pushed me to become extremely active in UNC’s multicultural and diversity based student groups. To become a part of a program that shares this cultural competency and sense of community with others would allow me to share my enthusiasm and passion with others in a way that I could have never imagined just a little over a year ago. No matter what my involvement, I hope to continue working with UNC’s DMA in the future.”