Working in Dr. Shardé Smith’s lab with C-HeARTS (Community Healing and Resistance Through Storytelling) has expanded the idea of home and given me a bigger village in the Champaign-Urbana community, which I have grown to love, that supports me on my academic journey.
My project has allowed me to be actively engaged in the community while still having ties to the university. The goal is to bridge the gap between these two entities.
As an HDFS student, my work with Dr. Smith gives me the privilege of thinking critically and allows me to gain experiences outside the classroom, connecting concepts I learn in class while applying them in my project with the community.
My research experience will always remind me that we cannot exist without each other. I will carry on the concept of healing and storytelling as I further pursue my education and into my career.