by Yasmine Arrington, founder of ScholarCHIPS and Peace First Fellow

I was one of three panelists on DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s roundtable panel discussion looking at Millennial Success (overcoming obstacles) in DC commemorating Black History Month held at the Thurgood Marshall Academy in SE DC. I  sat alongside the congresswoman and Mr. Tony Lewis Jr., a well known author and activist in this community for his re-entry work with formerly incarcerated persons.

It was truly an amazing experience to share my personal experiences and encourage students to be their best, do their best, encourage them to not fall into negative peer pressure and stay true to themselves! Words truly cannot describe how overjoyed I was to interact with high school seniors in this way - THIS IS TRULY WHAT I LIVE FOR! And I did not walk away empty handed - one of the students asked me to be her mentor, which I gratefully accepted.

As you can see, I am so glad to be a college graduate back in my hometown of DC and being able to be in such a position to give back to this community. I am determined to expand my network, speaking skills and leaderships skills which will ultimately allow me to gather more support for ScholarCHIPS and more funding for college scholarships for students with incarcerated parents!