Joal Reeves, CSB student, wanting to make change

Senior Joal Reeves grew up in the heart of Minneapolis. But CSB/SJU was the perfect place for Joal to become involved in her peace studies major and her passion for creating change.

“I wanted a major that not only prepared me for the academic world, but prepared me to be ready to take on injustices and be a part of the solution to gang violence and crime in the inner city,” Joal said.

Joal decided to attend CSB/SJU because of the Intercultural Leadership, Education and Development Fellowship Program. The Program provides support for talented first-generation students to build on the leadership skills they are already demonstrating within their high school and home communities.

The Intercultural Leadership, Education and Development fellowship has improved my leadership skills, made me see various ways in which I can make a difference on campus and beyond. It brought me close to diverse people with different religions, ethnicities and views of the world,” Joal said.

The program has encouraged her to stay active in the community. Joal has been involved in the Cultural Affairs Board, the McCarthy Center, Festival of Cultures, CSB Senate, Joint Events Council, volunteering at the Place of Hope, volunteering with the Homelessness Coalition in St. Cloud, performing in the Martin Luther King celebration at CSB and SJU and working with VISTO (Volunteers in Service to Others).

She also shares her interests of writing, storytelling, service, gang violence and racial issues with her professors. She is able to talk to her professors about everything from a homework assignment to how their coursework applies to her career goals.

“My professors have shown concern for my education and for the future that I will have after CSB/SJU,” Joal said.

“CSB/SJU requires that you not only attend the institutions but that your presence here matters, in a positive way,” said Joal, noting that this is accomplished through education, relationships, leadership and involvement on the campus communities.

After graduation, she plans to further her involvement in the community and participate in the Teach for America program to inspire kids who are growing up in inner cities and struggling with poverty, crime and more.

“CSB/SJU encourages you to leave your mark and helps guide you toward that. Coming here won’t just help you build a great resume but also keep you grounded and passionate about your role in the world,” Joal said.