Guest Blog: “I Achieved the Dream” – Mardwina Lasseur
Mardwina Lasseur is a Nursing major, Honors College student and part-time employee in the Student Affairs department. She was one of six awardees selected from hundreds of applicants across the United States to participate in the Achieving the Dream, DREAM 2018 conference in Nashville, Tennessee from February 20-23, 2018. Mardwina shares her experience.
“My last semester at Broward College has been filled with the typical struggles that many college students face, including staying up all night completing applications for numerous scholarships, universities, and jobs. So, discovering that I was selected as one of Achieving the Dream’s DREAM scholars during this overwhelming time was a wonderful revelation for me, and it made me feel as if all the hard work I had done was not in vain.
I had one of the most remarkable experiences of my life attending the Achieving the Dream’s 2018 DREAM conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Meeting other DREAM scholars, exploring the city known as the “Music City” of the United States, and site seeing to several locations, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Hatch Show Pint, which is one of the oldest letterpress shops in the United States are experiences that will remain with me for the rest of my life.
In addition to the fun I had exploring and touring around Nashville, I discovered the diligent efforts being made by Achieving the Dream and its member institutions to bridge the success gap between traditional students and underrepresented students, such as students of color, low-income students, and first-generation college students. During the conference, members of several community colleges across the nation shared their efforts to increase student achievement, which ranged from diversifying course curriculums by avoiding a “one size fits all” teaching approach to implementing open educational resources (OERs) to ensure that every student has access to class materials. These, along with changes in institutional policies to reflect equitable practices help underserved students evade the barriers that can prevent them from succeeding in postsecondary institutions.
Not only did I learn all that and so much more at the 2018 DREAM conference, I created a bond with the other scholars even though our time together was only for a few days. As a member of Broward College’s Rob “Bob” Elmore Honors College, this wonderful opportunity is among the many ways students are exposed through the honors institute. I would encourage any student who is academically driven and desires fellowship with peers who have similar motivations to consider joining the Honors College at Broward College. Believe me, their assistance can help you achieve the dream.”