PeerForward Alumni like Avianna Daniels carry the flame of a Peer Leader long after their workshop. This week, our Alumni Spotlight is on Avianna, a student at the University of Connecticut majoring in biology. We caught up with her to ask about her college experience and discuss why she serves as a PeerForward Alumni:
Why do YOU serve?
I serve as a PeerForward Alumni because it is my time to give back the amazing guidance I was given to the next generation. Having the ability to feed the young minds of our world with knowledge about college and other postsecondary options is a once and a lifetime opportunity. I enjoy being able to feed students will love, support, and comfort in their post high school journey. High school years are critical when it comes to decision making. Speaking from experience, your whole life feels like it is flashing before your eyes. One moment you are a freshman with no worries, then you are a junior stressing to plan out your life. Suddenly, you are a senior who has so much pressure on their back to choose between multiple paths of life. I serve to prove to every student/peer that has come around me that this is your world and others just live in it. It is your journey, your success, and your truth. If you are happy with your decision, that is all that matters. I plan to serve as many years as I can if that means making a difference to the generations of talent to come.
How did PeerForward change your perspective of college?
PeerFoward changed my perspective by showing me that numbers do not define you. My whole middle school and early high school years, it was always shown that no college will take you in with bad test scores. PeerForward showed me that colleges want the real person underneath that transcript. They want to see what light and excitement you could bring to their school.
How have you been a positive influence to your peers in college?
I’ve been a positive influence to my peers by being the reasonable, motivational friend. I encourage everyone to do their best at all times. I never let them feel that they are alone, or that their stress goes unnoticed. I also never let them forget the reason they are at college and what their dreams are.
What’s one piece of college advice you’d offer Peer Leaders?
One piece of advice I would offer Peer Leaders is to find a great balance between mental and physical health while staying on top of your work schedule. School can most definitely become stressful and overwhelming, but it is important for your mental and physical health to stay intact when you are facing challenges such as depression, anxiety, or even falling behind in a class. Always work yourself to reach your true potential, but do not over work yourself to the point you cannot give your best self.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.