Building community with peers has been a constant throughout Precious Kennedy’s University experience. Getting to know classmates before even coming to campus through Nature of Life at Itasca, as well as her time in the President’s Emerging Scholars (PES) program summer seminar, opened her eyes to the importance of getting to know people across campus and broader communities.
“In PES, we got to explore campus, make friends and establish communities,” she says. “I think from that starting point I just realized I enjoyed and wanted to be in spaces that explored and dealt with different types of people and feel like I’m part of a broader community.”
The neuroscience major kept that peer interaction and community-building throughout her time at the University, later serving as a peer mentor in the PES program, taking part in the CBS Dean’s Scholars program and serving as a community advisor on campus. While connecting with her classmates, she’s also built relationships with people across the metro, volunteering as a reading tutor through the Reading Partners program and serving as a medical scribe for North Memorial Emergency Services. Engaging in this work has offered Kennedy the chance to engage in conversations and service that combine her interest in biology with a passion to engage with broader social issues.
“Some would say ‘go study sociology if you want to engage in areas like human rights or racial justice,’” she says. “And I would say ‘no, you can have both of these things together and it’s very critical that we actually have that leadership perspective and that consideration with social consciousness within science.’”
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 edition of BIO, a magazine for College of Biological Sciences alumni, donors and friends.