It’s senior week, and we are highlighting some of the members of the Class of 2023 as part of our #HumansOfLongwood series. Wherever life after Longwood takes them—a new job, graduate studies or an internship—these students reflect the goals and achievements made possible in a close-knit community that promotes student involvement, values inclusion and nurtures citizen leadership in whatever form it takes.

Aryanna Colvin ’23
HOMETOWN: Orange, Virginia

MAJOR: Liberal studies with concentration in special education
WHAT'S NEXT: Teaching special education at Amelia County Middle School while pursuing a master’s degree in counseling education at Longwood

During my four years at Longwood, I have prided myself on being a voice for others, especially when involving DEIAJ (diversity, equity, inclusion, access and justice). I loved getting to know different students, with all different types of backgrounds, and working with them to really make Longwood feel like home. Being involved in organizations such as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Class Council, Peer Mentors and RISE Mentors allowed me to learn and grow, and to make changes for those around me and those who will come to Longwood after me. I am forever grateful for those who believed in me, trusted me and motivated me to accomplish the things that I have during my undergraduate years.

I joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., because, since I was a little girl, I knew I was destined to be an Alpha woman. Being an Alpha woman consists of cultivating and encouraging high scholastic and ethical standards to promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature, to maintain a progressive interest in college life and, of course, to be of “Service to All Mankind.” I not only wanted to promote these aspects within my sorority, but also throughout the Longwood community.

As a student intern for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, I was able to assist with DEI trainings, plan events, run the social media accounts and, most importantly, be a representative for the students of color at Longwood. Jonathan Page and Quincy Goodine in Multicultural Affairs took me under their wing and pushed me to thrive at Longwood. They went out of their way to help me build my class schedules, find scholarships, apply for jobs, apply to graduate school and prepare me for leadership positions. Jonathan and Quincy never let me doubt myself; they always held me high.

As a first-generation college student, I especially want to commend the office of Alumni and Career Services for being so helpful. During my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to do a work shadow experience where I connected with a Longwood alumna in a career field that I wanted to join. Connecting with different alumni has been a lifesaver! They taught me how to network, how to communicate effectively and how to really mold myself into who I want to be. Through Alumni and Career Services I was able to attend workshops that would prepare me for life after college, attend a minority connections fair, receive assistance on my resume and my LinkedIn profile, and get help preparing for graduate school. I was even able to get business cards.

The best thing about Longwood is all of the opportunities—research day, internships, involvement in organizations, leadership roles—that have shaped me into the citizen leader I am today. My top two most amazing experiences were winning Oktoberfest royalty and having the honor of being a senior guiding light for CHI at the CHI burning. These moments were very special to me because they represent the spirit of Longwood so well. Having these honors occur during my last year made my love for Longwood run even deeper and makes it harder for me to close this chapter of my life.

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