Morehouse Hosts Opportunity For Students to Pursue Careers in Foreign Service
Photo by Lucas Wilson
By Auzzy Byrdsell, Contributing Writer
For generations, the nature of the Men of Morehouse has been to be well read, well traveled, well dressed, well spoken and well balanced. Tomorrow on November 1, Morehouse College will inform students about an opportunity to pursue a career in the Foreign Service that will take advantage of our varied skills.
Samantha Power, the Administrator of the United States Agency of International Development, will visit Morehouse to celebrate the USAID’s fifth agreement this year under its Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Initiative.
At 10:30 a.m., Morehouse students, faculty and staff are invited to join Power and Morehouse President David A. Thomas as they deliver remarks in the African American Hall of Fame (the second floor of King Chapel) and sign the Memorandum of Understanding with USAID’s MSI Partnerships Initiative. This will create more career opportunities, mentorship, and training pathways for our students to pursue the Foreign Service and careers in international development.
The goal of this initiative is to increase the presence of people of color in these spaces.
As a Morehouse junior Kinesiology major who has work and living experience with the US Foreign Service, I assure you that this initiative will not only expand your network but also your perception of the world.
During high school and my freshman year at Morehouse, I lived in Germany, Thailand and South Korea because my father works for the Foreign Service as a US Diplomat. My time traveling showed me what the world has to offer but also showed me how little other nations know about Black people and our culture.
In those years, I was always one of the few Black kids around, if not the only one. This was the same for my parents and brother. We carry pressure to represent the entire culture and reputation of Black people.
Many of our peers hadn’t met many (if any) Black people in their lives. What they knew about our culture was only what they’d seen in social media and entertainment.
When living in an international, foreign community you are surrounded by people from almost every corner of the world and people from the country you’re stationed in. I’ve been able to make friends who are German, Thai, Korean, Canadian, Turkish, Chinese, Pakistani, Mexican and more. They represented a plethora of religions and cultures.
As someone who grew up in one place and was thrown into this community would have immense culture shock. Coming from the inner city of Atlanta, this was my reality. I often found myself hopping around different friend groups trying to see where I fit in, but I was never satisfied.
I felt underrepresented, misunderstood and lonely. I also felt pressured to work twice as hard as my peers to ensure other Black students weren’t perceived in a negative light.
I’m not the only person in the AUC with these kinds of experiences. Amara Dynes is a freshman, Political Science major at Spelman who also lived in Thailand in her high school years. When I got a chance to ask her about her social experience, she emphasized the awkwardness of being one of the only Black students in her community.
This cultural frenzy I experienced initially made me feel small, however, I learned to embrace my environment. I found what made me unique in such rich diversity.
Playing basketball throughout high school gave me a sense of self that also helped me learn more. Through basketball I was able to travel for games and tournaments to places like Zurich, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Taipei, China and more.
Despite being able to conquer my social struggles, no Black child deserves the lonely experiences I faced. This is why African Americans’ presence matters in these spaces. We gain respect and recognition across the world where we may not have large populations.
“This initiative with Morehouse is important because we have not done a great job of having people of color in our positions,” Jessica Jennings, a spokesperson and press director for USAID said. “Morehouse does amazing work in social justice.”
For us to have more presence, we must first know what opportunities exist and have the resources to obtain those opportunities.
Reagan Ewing, a junior, International Studies major at Spelman College, expressed her thoughts about lack of resources.
“Many of us are not exposed to the Foreign Service,” Ewing said. “We really do have to overextend ourselves to find these opportunities.”
For us to grow our networks, initiatives like the MSI are essential to bringing those resources to the talent that exists here.
This past summer, Ewing participated in the Charles B. Rangel Scholars Program, where she was immersed in the intricacies of foreign policy and global issues.
She also interned at Boeing International Finance Government and Defense division. She plans to pursue a career in international diplomacy with the State Department.
The AUC produces exceptional and successful scholars when we have the resources to do so. Our perspective and work ethic make us elite candidates for the Foreign Service.
She continued to touch on how we can be an asset to the State Department, given our reputation and experience over the past century.
Copy Edited by Miles Johnson