Meet Sophomore Destinee Hawkins — Kalamazoo Promise Scholar

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Sophomore Destinee Hawkins is a psychology major and social work minor with a goal to become a therapist. She’s also a Kalamazoo Promise Scholar, a member of the Global Citizen Honors Program and a resident adviser. This combination has allowed her to build close relationships across campus and prepare for a successful future.

Read more about Destinee’s college journey.

I am from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and I graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 2019. When I started looking at colleges, Olivet was not originally on my radar. It just so happened that Jared Stratz, director of admissions, came to visit my high school and brought Taco Bell, which caught my interest. After the visit, I applied and Olivet was the only school that checked in with me. They made sure I knew what was going on with my application and made me feel like someone cared about my education.

I am a big family person, and I wanted to stay close to family while in college. OC gave me a chance to be away from home while also close enough to get back quickly. I’m so grateful that the Kalamazoo Promise now covers private colleges because I like the smaller campus with more one-on-one attention and a smaller community. One of the first things I asked was if Olivet accepted the Kalamazoo Promise because the opportunity to have it is a blessing.

As a psychology major and social work minor, my goal is to become a therapist. I do not know what area I want to focus on yet, but I want to help people with their mental health. I came to this decision after my junior year in high school. I failed a class and had some people in my life pass away, and that is when I really started to take mental health seriously because I was not taking care of myself like I needed to. I realized that if I am not healthy, I cannot help other people, which is something that I really love to do. Right now, I am taking classes that are directly related to my major, but I also try my best to be there for my friends or family when they need me. I also learned that just speaking to someone you do not know and taking five minutes out of your day can make someone else’s day.
I am also a part of Global Citizen Honors Program, and I joined because I have always been an honors student. I like the program because it gives me a goal to work toward every semester. I have to maintain a high GPA to keep my scholarship and remain in the program, which has motivated me to be on the Dean’s List the past two semesters. I also intend on graduating from the program after completing my needed honors credits, and that will be another accomplishment for me.

The biggest experience that I have had at Olivet is living in the dorms. I was scared of living in a dorm with community bathrooms or in a co-ed dorm when I first moved in, but in reality, it has been one of the best things about coming to college. Currently, I am a resident adviser (RA) in Dole Hall and a member of the Residence Life Team. I love working with the other RAs and hall directors to make campus a better place for students. I know almost everyone that lives in my building and it is like our own family. Last year, our building won some trophies for the game nights that were held, like musical chairs and Kahoot games — it was a great reason to come together and have some fun. Times like those are the ones that I really enjoyed and made me appreciate the time I have here.

I would encourage other students to come to The University of Olivet if they like a smaller environment that allows them to get to know a lot more people. Also, if students need one-on-one time with their professors, I would encourage them to come to Olivet because their professors will know their names. The whole faculty is welcoming, and everyone knows everyone, so it is really hard not to go somewhere on campus without seeing someone that you recognize. There are so many resources at OC that help students adjust to campus life after they get here and through their time here.

Being a Comet has been amazing. I love my school and love telling people that I am a Comet. Just being on campus and being around other people that want to be here makes me happy. I chose to come back even in the midst of a pandemic because I love being on campus. It is a quiet place and the scenery is beautiful. I believe that being a Comet has made me a gentler and more caring person. As I grow, my compassion grows and being a part of a community that believes in inclusion is a bonus.

Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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