It really isn't fair for students' and families' destinies to be predetermined by place of birth. We should be makers of our own destinies.

Janiel Slowly '19
Photo by Emily Paine, Division of Communications

"I moved to the United States from Jamaica when I was 11 years old. The first two years were the hardest of my life. The thing that got me through the difficult times was knowing that I was in the U.S. for a reason: my education.

"When I came to Bucknell, I wanted to be an education major, but education was already my passion. Changing to a political science major took me completely out of my comfort zone. I want to affect change in education, and change is usually achieved through politics and public policy. My ultimate goal is to become minister of education in Jamaica.

"Last summer, I completed an internship in Washington, D.C., through Bucknell's Capitol Hill Internship Program. I worked on a variety of projects, including the issue of temporary protected status, which is usually granted to people from countries suffering a political or natural disaster. At the invitation of Bahçeşehir University in Turkey, I also traveled to that country, where I witnessed the Syrian refugee crisis firsthand. The generosity of the Turkish government and citizens proved to me that human empathy and being your brother's and sister's keeper transcends religion and socially constructed frameworks.

"Along with being a member of the women's track & field team, I belong to the Black Student Union and serve as a residential adviser. I'm also on the leadership committee of the Bucknell Katrina Recovery Team. When I first traveled to New Orleans, I saw families living on the streets 12 years after the hurricane. That was difficult for me to process.

"Although I see inequality in the U.S., I still want to focus on the students I left behind in Jamaica. I'm very fortunate, and with that good fortune comes an obligation to help those who live extremely different — and difficult — lives.”

Janiel is from Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Posted November 2017

Browse Stories


Student Stories

Justin Guizman '19

Ask students what makes Bucknell special and they'll say their professors, classes, and friends. Ask them about themselves. They, too, make Bucknell special. And they all have amazing stories to tell.

Student Stories

Faculty Stories

Soundarya Chidambaram

Bucknell professors are teacher-scholars who share their passion for knowledge with students. They are mentors and collaborators on the road of intellectual discovery.

Faculty Stories

Alumni Stories

Neil Paprocki '07

More than 50,000 strong, Bucknell alumni span the globe and are all linked by a common bond: memories of the Orange and Blue.

Alumni Stories
Close

Places I've Been

The following links are virtual breadcrumbs marking the 27 most recent pages you have visited in Bucknell.edu. If you want to remember a specific page forever click the pin in the top right corner and we will be sure not to replace it. Close this message.