He was able to apply that passion into a slew of projects including his work as a scholar-practitioner and his experiences in program development, conflict resolution to residential life, diversity, and admissions. Most importantly, he has been working with students and advocating for nondiscriminatory resources for marginalized groups and has shown that advocacy in his blogging regarding issues and topics that affect the Student Affairs global community. When he isn’t collaborating with students or working on his own projects, you can find Derrick running, catching up with those close to him, and continuing to find ways to develop his overall health and wellness.
There sure isn’t a shortage of the impressive things Derrick has done in his ongoing career. During his time with the 21st Century Scholars from August of 2019 to August of 2021, he has been incredibly involved with the Hoosier community. He’s worked jointly with the Leadership Corps’ members and board, mentoring them and helping organize the group. Continuing with his theme of aiding underrepresented populations, he envisioned and created the Black Male Initiative, a way to create a safe space for Black men on campus and hosted those meetings for several semesters. His interactions with students on campus have been numerous through his working alongside Nikki with NSO, conducting on-campus workshops and interviews with students, and appearing on Instagram Live to educate students about financial and health wellness with IU MoneySmarts and CAPS. He’s also been active with upcoming scholars by joining tons of Outreach events, high school visits, and conferences including Next Steps, Scholars Turn 30, and others. Last, but certainly not least, Derrick has been extremely involved with Americorps, a national organization dedicated to aiding communities impacted by Covid-19, helping students on their path to graduation, combating hunger and homelessness, responding to natural disasters, and so much more. He’s supported many scholars as one of Americorps’ Graduation and Retention Specialists, encouraging them on the journeys. As Derrick puts it in his presentation for Americorps Celebration Week, “...And what I’ve learned so far in my journey is that I really like helping people in virtual spaces, but I also love the college setting, and I love the moments where you can relate to students. I have a lot of higher education, but I like bringing people who don’t have the access to education and help them learn that they are just as powerful and strong too.”
From his humble beginnings of summers with his grandma in Gary, Indiana to his time here at IUB’s 21st Century Program, Derrick has shown his love and passion for creating safe spaces for students to thrive and succeed. His giving spirit has emerged through his collaboration with students and his initiative towards his projects. We are so grateful to have had Derrick on our staff, and we look forward to seeing his success in the future!