ICI takes pride in creating positive spaces and inspiring change-makers to impact the community in a positive way and lead social justice change. It is an honor to work with sharp and progressive-thinking youth and adult researchers within the institute. It is also a pleasure to watch our alumni go on to use their gifts and cultivated skills in communities that extend beyond our current work. Over the holiday break, we were bestowed an opportunity to check in with Ayanni Godbold, an ICI alumnus, who is currently enrolled at Howard University with a 4.0 GPA!
Ayanni reflects on her journey thus far, shares advice for current researchers, and leaves a few words of inspiration that will inspire us in 2018 and beyond.
Read her thoughts below!
I am currently back home in NYC because I am on break from college but I usually reside in Washington D.C. at Howard University. At Howard I am a freshman majoring in Administration of Justice aka Criminology/ Sociology. I’m enrolled so far in three orgs: the HU Mock Trial Team, The New York Club, and Breaking the cycle (which is similar to the work I use to do with you guys at ICI).
While working at ICI, I’ve learned how important it is to surround yourself with the right type of people especially when it comes to research. When in a healthy and supportive environment, research becomes more then just research. It consist of passion and makes your finding more enthusiastic. I also learned how important it is to put yourself In other people shoes. When you do this you start to view the world from different perspectives and tend to be more appreciative of where you are. It also makes you want to help people who are not so fortunate to reach the same opportunities you have been able to as well.
My favorite part of working with this institution was traveling with them. When traveling we got to know each other even better then before, while still staying on track with our research, and its purpose. As well as also having fun and enjoying each other personalities.
The program actually helped me realize how fun research is. I had done research projects for school, and other activities before, but joining the program gave me a whole new outlook on how enjoyable it is. As for as the activist part it helped me realize that I really do want to spend my life helping people who need the help. There are so many people in the world who aren’t given the best opportunities, but have so much potential that they need to put to use and all they need is to have some push them, and tell them they are able to amount to their dream. I desire to be that very person, the one that makes them realize they can and they will.
In the future I plan on being a lawyer or professional within the criminology field. I will be a famous dancer as well who opens up a community center to cater towards young kids dreams and aspirations.
To the future researchers: if it’s one thing I can tell you, it’s to always put your heart and soul in everything you work towards. There is no purpose in work if you don’t give it you all so go big or go home :). No but really, just go big because Sarah and everyone else at ICI is working on something big here and they need every last one of you guys help make this grow and evolve!