Digital Story Package

Meet Erica Boey

Erica Boey, a junior at the University of North at Chapel Hill transferred from a college in Malaysia, her sophomore year. Being an international student from Malaysia came with not having a community of familiarity at UNC. Erica feared that she would not fit in with the people around her.

College students from 4-year institutions across all different types of backgrounds and ages can face similar experiences to Erica’s. Although they may not be Malaysian or international, their need for a community is very prevalent. Erica’s story led Eleazar Yisrael to explore minority college students’ sense of belonging at 4-year institutions. Also, how could minority students gain community with others who are accepting and inviting in a healthy way?

Hear from Patricia Harris

Building Community

The sense of not having a community at 4-year institutions for minorities has been the case since the integration of school systems. Even though university systems and educational programs have made great strides to welcome diversity into college campuses, minorities still face struggles that prompt them to dominate in the rates related to college dropout.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made everyone miss out on community and engagement. Before the pandemic, the issue surrounding “belonging uncertainty” for Minorities was clearly evident. Now, there is a more need for a sense of belonging in regards to a community.

One way to help with this issue is to support more programs that encourage and support minorities before, during, and after they enroll in a 4-year institution. In addition, the push to create a more welcoming community needs to be sought after. The need for representation is important so that minorities see themselves at a university – When there is a lack of diversity, the chance to have a truly welcoming environment needs to be highlighted.

Learn more below in the next section on how Erica Boey found her community as a minority at a 4-year institution.

Digital Story Package

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