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Alandra VanDross ’04 plans to use what she is learning as an Africana Studies major to help at-risk inner city youth. “I would somehow like to use the knowledge I have gained about the black experience to help these youths understand that as a people, blacks have come a long way, and that through all that the black race has gone through, we are still able to keep our pride and strength.” What excites her most about the field, she says, is the opportunity to learn in-depth details about her heritage, and therefore, herself.

African Cultural Institutions, taught by Kofi Opoku, visiting professor of religion, was an eye-opening class for VanDross. “I was amazed at how the diverse tribes within African countries were similar in many ways, yet they all had distinct differences,” she says. “Also, I learned that many of their ways are reflected in daily American life.” Professors in the program are dedicated and understand the value of the information they impart to students, she adds.

VanDross will join five other women students in performing For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, a play by Ntozake Shange, 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Williams Center for the Arts Black Box.

A member of Association of Black Collegians, NIA, and Neighborhood Tutoring Network, VanDross is a tour guide for the admissions office and is active in Baptist Youth Fellowship.

Categorized in: Academic News