Fahsyrah Knight and Changing Communities
Fahsyrah Knight graduated in December 2020 from NC A&T State University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. During her time in college, she was awarded many scholarships, including the Rotary Club of Durham Scholarship, and engaged in clubs that enriched her community. She joined Student U in fifth grade, and now as a college graduate, she continues to be a change agent in our community who will work to build a more just and equitable world.
Fahsyrah envisions a world that is just and equal for all without wealth disparities. She hopes to enroll in graduate school, acquire a Master of Science degree in public health, and eventually continue her education by enrolling in a physician assistant program. She dreams of one day owning and operating her own community-based health clinic that would be geared towards servicing underprivileged and marginalized people.
"I will always be thankful and grateful for Student U and their commitment to being a shining light in our community. They have taught me the value and importance of giving back and have provided me with valuable life lessons and many teachable moments. One of the highlights amongst many was the college trips and tours. These experiences early on helped me to understand the process of college. May God continue to bless the entire Student U family."
Fahsyrah is destined to change her community and the world!
The full interview with Fahsyrah below
What is your vision for the world and Durham?
I will always be engaged in work that would be geared around ending structured and systemic racism, I understand this will be an uphill battle and challenge in working towards ending wealth disparities in my community and the United States. My vision for the world is also tied to ending global wealth disparities in which people in particular, in Emerging Nations and their quest for freedom, justice and equality will be at the forefront of my global vision.
My parents have always done their best to inspire and prepare me for life challenges by putting me in environments that allowed me to grow and expand my worldview at a very early age. Moreover, by acquiring this valuable foundation, I feel fully prepared for the next steps in my life journey. I have accepted that failure is not an option and I will continue to take the necessary steps to allow me to achieve and become a productive citizen and contribute to society in a positive way.
Who has helped you on your journey?
My role models have always been my parents and I have always sought guidance and directions from them. They remain as my support system and my foundation. They as parents have allowed me to grow and instilled in me the importance of being spiritually centered. So, I rely on God as my ultimate source for guidance and inspiration.
I began Student U program in the fifth grade and it has been one of the best educational and social outreach programs, which has assisted me in my growth and development both as a student and as a human being. Student U has an amazing networking system that has always offered me support from my inception into the program up until my college graduation in 2020. Looking back now, I can truly appreciate the value and the importance of the role that the counselors and the administration team have instrumented in tracking my progress and other college students' progress—it gives you the feeling of always being connected to Student U village. Their continuing involvement in my educational pursuits from primary school throughout my college tenure has been extremely helpful and rewarding. I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Derrick Beasley and Mr. Dan Kimberg for believing in me.
Once again, as I move forward in life, I will always be thankful and grateful for Student-U and their commitment to being a shining light in our community. They have taught me the value and importance in given back and have provided me with valuable life lessons and many teachable moments. One of the highlights amongst many was the college trips and tours. These experiences early on help me to understand the process of college. May God continue to bless the entire Student-U family.
What is next?
I anticipate and have ambitions of attending graduate school with the goal of obtaining a Master’s degree in public health. I have been reaching out to graduate schools on the west coast and I'm looking at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and San Diego State University.
By acquiring the education and skillset will allow me to be in a good position to move forward in my aspirations to own and operate my own community base health clinic in the future. Thus, I will also allow myself to be a positive role model in my community in particular, to underprivileged young African American girls. I would like to create for them an environment for potential and possibilities in life by encouraging and providing opportunities.
What is one piece of advice you would give your younger peers? How will you help them succeed?
The first thing I would tell them is that you must be all-in and commit yourself to a game plan that is meaningful and one that will pay positive dividends in the present and future. Also, I will inform them not to be fearful of failure and be prepared to be knockdown, but most importantly always having the intestinal fortitude to get up and try it again. One of my athletic coaches told me that "quitters never win and winners never quit".
Rotary Club of Durham Scholarship, National Alumni Association of Hillside High School, Starr Academic Booster Committee, Hillside High School Athletic Booster Club, Mike Tilley band scholarship, First Calvary Baptist Church scholarship for high school seniors and Chapel Hill Delta Sigma Theta Jabberwock scholarship; a member of NC A&T State illustrious Golden Delight dance company, NC A&T State Red Cross club and NC A&T State Next Level travel club.