My involvement with GapBuster, Inc. has been one ripe with opportunities and with possibilities. Under the leadership and the direction of GapBuster’s founder, Dr. Yvette Butler-Yeboah, this organization has successfully served the academic and the social needs of sundry students. Fortunately, I have been a beneficiary of GapBuster’s numerous programs and initiatives that have fostered the overall growth of my character. Through volunteer activities such as the Winter Coat and Accessory, the Relay for Life, and the Feed-the-Homeless events, my sense of social responsibility was fostered. Additionally, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills were developed through my participation in the National Society of Black Engineers, Jr. (NSBE), a program offered through GapBuster. Through NSBE, exposure to technical engineering skills were garnered through design and engineering competitions, such as the NASCAR Ten80 competition. In preparation for this competition, students build and race model cars. Our experiences through GapBuster were not limited to local opportunities. International travel was encouraged and offered. Because of this, I was inspired to travel to Lusaka, Zambia on two separate occasions. There, I served as an Organizational Management Intern responsible for supporting Abroad/Zambia program leaders with logistics and group management during the preparation, travel, and follow-up phases. In addition to tutoring children in reading, I also designed and implemented my business venture that sent pre-packaged lesson plans and materials to a school in Zambia. I am confident that the social awareness, along with the problem-solving and the critical-thinking skills, that I gained through my involvement with GapBuster were instrumental to my success in this role.
GapBuster also offers students exposure to colleges through tours, including those to HBCUs. It was through these tours that I gained knowledge of college programs and of the cultural heritage of HBCUs. Presently, I attend Hampton University, where I continue to develop skills that heighten my chances of future success both academically and professionally. Additionally, being surrounded by others, who are a reflection of myself and who strive to succeed, I have gained a solid sense of self as a woman of African-American and Caribbean descent.
I am currently obtaining a B.S. in Pre-Medical Psychology from Hampton University. I will graduate by December 2021. Upon completion, I strive to obtain a medical degree with a specialty in neurology.
Presently, I serve as the vice president of Hampton University’s Psychology Club and the leader of its Career Development committee. We provide information on scholarships and internships to the Hampton University community. I also hold memberships in the following: 2019 cohort
of the Freddye T. Davy Honors College; Psi Chi Honors Society; Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society; the Science National Honors Society; the Golden Key International Honour Society; National Tutoring Association; the American Psychological Association; Pre-health/Medical Program; and the Silver Spring Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. I also hold a Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification through the National Council for Behavioral Health. At Hampton University, I have volunteered with the Nursing Careers and Pathways Program, and I have served as a Teachers Assistant with the Department of Biological Sciences. Additionally, I provided peer counseling and brought awareness to mental health issues through the Peer Counseling Program. As a research assistant, I explored the impact of economic status and race on entrepreneurial initiatives.
My prior experiences have also been instrumental in the development of my skills set. As a Special Education classroom intern, I studied Neurodevelopmental Disorders while learning how to effectively work with diverse learners. As a Science National Honors Society awardee, I conducted STEM-based experiments in this classroom. Similarly, I volunteered at Kids Enjoy Exercise Now, where I helped cognitively-challenged adults and children to safely engage in gross motor activities, such as karate and yoga. I also volunteered at the Holy Cross Medical Adult Day Center, where I assisted with and led activities that engaged adults, some of whom were dually-diagnosed with physical and cognitive disabilities attributed to traumatic brain injuries. Through the Montgomery County Department of Therapeutic Recreation, I served as an after-school aide to a student diagnosed with autism. My volunteer opportunities have provided me with tangible experiences of working with populations that are impacted by cognitive and neurological disorders, both of which can have deleterious effects on the emotional health of those diagnosed with these disorders. My organizational and leadership skills were developed through my previous role as the president of the Montgomery County NAACP Youth Council (Chapter 7722), and as a fellow in the Learn Serve International, Inc. program.
I am eternally grateful for all that GapBuster, under the guidance of Dr. Yvette Butler-Yeboah, has offered me: community; skills; opportunities and self-pride. Being a member of GapBuster’s Alumni Association would be an honor.