Florida A&M University students performed a community service event called “Rattler Radiance” at Bond Elementary School just in time for the Christmas season.
The eight students presented a box of Black beauty items to 10 female Bond Elementary School students as part of their community holiday kick-off on Thursday, December 9. The event included braiding, nail polishing, making FAMU t-shirts, and an educational discussion about being a student at FAMU, the state’s only public Historically Black College or University.
The purpose of community service was to demonstrate to young students how special they are and to show them they have a bright future. Additionally, the FAMU students informed Bond students about the college career paths that they are pursuing to encourage them to consider their own college dreams. The group also included an inspirational card for the young women to keep as a reminder to work toward their goals.
Among the FAMU Students were Thersa Jean-Baptiste, a pharmacy student from West Palm Beach; School of Nursing students Danielle Walker of Fort Lauderdale, Nia Russell of Pensacola; Taylor Hardy of Tampa; Mariah Ware of Fort Lauderdale; and Nya Brigham of Ocala; Cardiopulmonary Respiratory Therapy student Carla Allen of Tampa; and Daija Nickerson, an Agribusiness student from Chicago. Program Assistant in the School of Nursing Kallie Donaldson serves as the group’s adviser/mentor.
College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health student Jean-Baptiste said the event filled her with joy.
“I realized that once upon a time, I was in this position, and had I been able to experience something similar, I’m sure I would of never feel sad around Christmas, knowing that so many people care about my happiness,” she said. “The young ladies were overjoyed when they received their gifts, explaining why they adored them and what they intended to do with them.”
Jean-Baptiste said one student told her she planned to paint her nails daily with her new green polish to be more fabulous.
“The result of this event exceeded my expectations because I learned more than just about FAMU,” said Jean-Baptiste. “I learned that the children in our community are the next generation of Rattlers, and we must protect and uplift them.”
Nursing student Brigham said that being a part of the Rattler Radiance event reminded her of why she chose to attend an HBCU.
“One of the young students asked me what I liked about going to FAMU, and I told her that you get to be yourself, have professors who believe in you, and meet people who share your values,” Brigham said. “The student then expresses her desire to attend FAMU and expresses her delight at seeing girls who look like her and want to assist her in becoming a college student.”