Matt Corder '15

I've been struggling how to put into words how I found my voice. It all started when my mom passed away. That has been the biggest impact on my life and I have no doubts that it always will. She was my best friend and my support system. So when she was gone, I felt completely lost. But, I know that she would never let me go about life like that. She would make sure that I picked myself up and keep going, because she never raised us (myself, my brother and my sister) to quit. That's when I found my voice. 

I started thinking more for myself and listening a lot more to others. A good friend of mine was minoring in African American Studies, and I would always talk to him about the various things he was learning. I found myself becoming more and more intrigued in the issues he was learning about and discussing. So, I decided that African American Studies was what I wanted to commit my studies to. I took Intro to African American Studies and was so excited to go to class everyday and learn. I was excited to read and work on assignments and discuss these topics with my professors and peers. I have talked all of my friends' ears off about everything I've learned and I've become more aware of the racial climate of our community and the country as a whole. I will be graduating at the end of this semester with a degree in African American Studies and can say that I am thoroughly proud of that degree and the education and awareness that it has given me. Losing my mom was the worst thing that's ever happened to me and I think about her everyday. But, it is also the part of my life that pushed me to start thinking for myself and find my voice.

Matt Corder
Class of 2015

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