High School Graduation Series
Se’Quan Patterson – Student U Class of 2019
Se’Quan Patterson is a senior at Durham School of the Arts and Student U, poised to graduate this May with acceptances to colleges across the East Coast. Se’Quan dreams of a world where there is equality among all people. He believes everyone has the right to an equal playing field, no matter the color of their skin or social status. As a black male student, he believes it’s important that he succeeds in his own dream of becoming a neurologist in order to be an inspiration for other students of color. He understands how difficult it can be to sustain confidence in yourself in the barrage of an unjust world. He emphasizes the importance of not comparing yourself to others and embracing your own unique strengths and brilliance. He finds happiness in pushing his boundaries and challenging himself academically and socially.
This past summer Se’Quan took on the role of Editor-in-Chief of The Voices of Student U. In this position, he led a class of rising 9th and 10th graders in creating an online student publication with the mission of sharing stories of their community. He said, “I was very nervous to take on the role because there was a lot of responsibility in accurately telling the stories of our community. Also working with students and leading a class was nerve-wracking, but seeing the students’ progress helped me grow my own character as I saw the impact I had on the students and their ability to produce quality work.”
Se’Quan believes his drive to be his best self and his ability to support others to do the same will continue to aid him on his journey to achieving greatness. He credits his success to his commitment to personal growth and holding himself accountable academically. He also talks about how his family, friends, and community have played a vital role in supporting him on his journey to discovering his best self. He intentionally surrounds himself with people who are supportive and have high expectations of him. In his high school career, he has found success in trying new activities that challenge him and build his character. “There are so many questions in the world to explore that are interesting.” He uses his natural curiosity to excel in his AP courses and in leadership positions.
After high school graduation, he plans to attend college and then medical school. His long-term goal is to be content, constantly growing, and placing himself in positions where he can help others. He strives to be someone people can lean on for support. His advice to his younger peers is: “take things seriously in life because you never know what might affect your future. The connections you make today might help you later on. Take opportunities to grow as a person, find yourself, and challenge yourself to grow.”
At Student U, we’ve had the honor of walking alongside Se’Quan since 6th grade and witnessing his transformation into the wise and mature young man he is today. His emphasis on self-acceptance, leaning into challenges in order to grow and learn, and caring for others should be an inspiration to us all. Like Se’Quan, we know we are stronger when those around us thrive too.