Tania Reese, 21, of Battle Creek, is a 2020 Lakeview High School graduate and Legacy Scholar pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at KCC with plans to transfer and major in Public Policy at a university.
Reese is particularly active on campus, serving as the 2023-24 student representative to the KCC Board of Trustees, a student worker in the Advising and Career Services offices, and a member of student clubs including the Environmental Club, Kampus Activities Boad, the Students of Color Club and the Sleuth Squad, among others.
She was also the 2023 Outstanding Bruin Awards recipient of KCC’s Catalyst Award, which honors a student who has sparked positive change at the College and is deeply engaged in campus activities such as Student Life programs, athletic events and/or volunteering at College events.
Why did you choose your major/area of study?
I chose my area of study because I have always loved being involved with advocacy, whether it’s towards gun-violence awareness or other interests that I enjoy learning about. “Being the voice for the voiceless” has inspired me to stand up for those who can’t speak out or for those who I have lost because of gun violence. It took me a while to find my voice and to stand up for myself. I feel like majoring in something towards social justice would help me be a part of the change within our society.
Why did you choose to study at KCC?
I wanted to stay close to home. I wasn’t ready to switch over to another environment just yet. I feel like my story just started for me once I graduated from high school, and as I kept myself involved in the community I wasn’t ready to let that season of my life go just yet. Choosing to major in the Associate of Arts has helped me expand through different interests for myself as far as which courses I take, and so far I have been enjoying them.
What’s been your favorite part of your time at KCC, and why?
My favorite part has been enjoying and participating in student events, whether it’s for Bruin Blast, making signs for sporting games, etc. I just love to see the support and engagement we bring towards each other as us being the Bruin family knowing we’ve got each other, and we support one another. That’s the best part of the community college experience.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned at KCC?
The most interesting thing I’ve learned at KCC would be prioritizing your time wisely. I never truthfully prioritized my time in high school, but once I came to college it was a whole different experience. I had to teach myself how to study properly, balance my time in between school, work and personal. Also disciplining myself in a way that I never had a chance to do in high school. It’s hard, but we must keep going yet still prioritize and take care of your mental health in the process.
What is your goal for after you graduate from KCC? What do you hope to do for a career?
I plan to transfer to either Tennessee State University (HBCU) or Grand Valley State University in hopes to major in Public Policy with a minor in Social Justice or Women’s Studies. As I’m still undecided on the career route I want to take, I’m still growing and learning about myself in the process and whatever I become will allow me to help change the world.
What advice do you have for current or future KCC students?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try new things because you never know what kind of opportunities are waiting for you on the other side of fear. Don’t let your fear of failing prevent you from trying new things. Everyone can be a leader somehow, some way. I saw a quote from an author named Tony Robbins who once said, “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited about what could go right.”
This Q&A first appeared in the December 2023 edition of BruIN magazine. To read the issue online, please visit kellogg.edu/bruinmagazine.