From Michigan to Cornell

Students pose at a CU IMAGE event.

By: Keishaun Wade, AAP ’23

I have an enduring love for my hometown of Flint, Michigan. My experiences as a Flint resident left me with a long-standing impression of justice. Living in a city where the effects of austerity deeply impact every facet of your life is inhumane. It has greatly impacted what I thought should be the trajectory of my life. Being marginalized changes the ways in which you look at the world and gives you a totally different perspective. It forces you to envision a world where you and others can be free of inequity in whatever form it may manifest itself.

Cornell was one of my top choices from the very beginning of high school, so being admitted was a dream come true. Throughout the college application process, I searched for places that would challenge me to grow, and Cornell turned out to be that place. My choice to leave home for Cornell came from the desire to be whatever my hometown needed. In order for me to be as impactful as possible, I needed to find a home away from home that would endow me with the knowledge and experience to make a difference.

The community I have here at Cornell has done just that. Ever since I stepped foot onto Cornell’s campus, I have built and been incorporated into a beautiful community. From actually living in the same program house I was hosted, to having the opportunity to join the Executive Board of the same organization that welcomed me to Cornell, I have developed a sense of belonging at Cornell. I am so grateful to be in leading roles that help integrate underrepresented students like myself into the fabric of Cornell. I am happy that Cornell will be home for the next four years, and I hope you will join us and become part of our Cornell family.