RETENTION INITIATIVES
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Meet the Hornet Keeper Peer Mentors

A Hornet Keeper Peer Mentor is an upper-classman who provides assistance and support for first-year students. These student leaders serve as role models, advisors, mentors, campus resource experts, and trusted points of contact for the Hornet Keeper mentee students.

Peer mentors work collaboratively with other peer mentors and the Office of Retention and International Programs to support First-Year student retention through problem resolution and campus resource referral.

Ramya Beuford
Hometown: St. Louis
Classification: Junior
Class of 2021
Major: Biology

Ramya Beuford is a biology major aspiring to speak Spanish. She is from St. Louis, MO, and graduated from Hazelwood Central High School. Ramya plans to become a pediatrician more focused on the holistic route. Ramya is in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated. Ramya likes math a lot and loves to help. She’s also very interested in outside activities and willing to try new adventures.  
 
 
Ashley Hattaway
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Classification: Senior
Class of 2020
Major: Criminal Justice
 
Ashley Hattaway is a Criminal Justice major from Detroit, MI. Ashley is a TRIO scholar, member of the Presidental Street Team, and a Hornet Keeper Peer Mentor.  In the future Ashley dreams of becoming an attorney and giving back to her community. Outside of school, Ashley enjoys hanging out with her friends/family and braiding hair.
 
 
 
Jasmine Blackburn
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Classification: Junior
Class of 2021
Major: Biology
 
Jasmine Blackburn is a scholar at this prestigious institution.  Her major is biology with a concentration in Pre-Medicine. Jasmine serves as the Historian of the NAACP, president of the National Council of Negro Women,  a member in the National Society of Leadership and Success, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She takes pride in being a Hornet Keeper!
 
 
 
Ahmaad Wallace
Hometown: Springfield, IL
Classification: Sophomore
Class of 2022
Major: Sociology
 
Ahmaad Wallace is a sociology major from Springfield, IL.  His goal is to become an admissions counselor.  He is an active member in the NAACP, the Hive, campus activity board, and student ambassadors.  He was also a part of the HSSU cheerleading team. In his free time, he enjoys singing, dancing, and sometimes acting. While attending HSSU, Ahmaad used his musical background in the school produced Dream Girls play.
 
 
 
Waynesha Edwards
Hometown: East St. Louis, IL
Classification: Junior
Class of 2021
Major: Criminal Justice Pre-Law
 
Waynesha Edwards is a criminal justice major with a concentration in Pre-Law. Waynesha is a part of NAACP and NSLS which are both leadership based programs.  Waynesha is currently on the Dean’s List and is a former cheerleader of HSSU.  Outside of school she dedicates her life to singing and praise dancing at her church.  She is currently works at Bright Star where she is a home-health aid and works with the elderly, all while being a youth director assistant at her church.  She is very dedicated in everything she does.
 
 
 
Robyn Robinson
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Classification: Junior
Class of 2021
Major: Biology
 
Robyn Robinson is a biology major from Chicago, IL.  She plans on becoming a pediatrician. Robyn is a former member of the Honeycomb dance team.  She enjoys hanging with friends and loves being involved on campus.
 
 
Shonya Blandin
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Classification: Junior
Class of 2021
Major: Biology
 
Shonya Blandin is a biology major with a concentration in Pre-Medicine. Shonya is a member of the NAACP as well as the Campus activities board. Outside of school, Shonya works two jobs and volunteers on and off campus. Shonya’s dream is to own her own orthodontic office in multiple places.
 
 
 
Darterrio West
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Classification: Sophomore
Class of 2022
Major: Secondary Education-History
 
Darterrio West is a secondary education major from Memphis, TN.  Born in Victoria, British Columbia, he was one of the youngest assistant principals. He is currently a work study student for the ECDC.  Darterrio has over 210 hours of doing student teaching at his local hometown, where he also served as the Memphis Police Department youth crime Division president.  He is an active member of SWARM Educational Organization, Black Male Initiative, an Admission's Ambassador, and proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
 
 
 
Kai’Lynn Taylor-Hawkins
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Classification: Sophomore
Class of 2022
Major: Biology

Kai’Lynn Taylor-Hawkins is a biology major with a concentration in Pre-Medicine from Detroit, MI.  She is involved in the following organizations: NCNW, NAACP, BWI, MSEIP, TRiO, CAB, MGAA, theater, choir, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Outside of school she loves to sleep and do community service.  Her dream is to become a pediatrician and to open her own practice.

 

 

Amber Williams
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Classification: Sophomore
Class of 2022
Major: Biology

Amber Williams is a biology major with a concentration in Pre-Medicine.  Her goal is to earn her PhD in arts and sciences.  Amber’s dream is to become an anesthesiologist and own her own hospital. She is very driven and motivated about science.  She enjoys hanging out with her friends, watching movies, attending intellectual talks, ice cream runs and reading books.  Amber is an active member of MOLSAMP for minorities and a member of the biology club.  She loves helping those around her.  Her favorite colors are blue and red, and her favorite character is Spongebob Squarepants.

 

 

Assata Hall-Leonard
Hometown: Kansas City, KS
Classification: Sophomore
Class of 2022
Major: Psychology

Assata Hall-Leonard is a psychology major.  She is a member of the Honors College, NAACP, and a certified medical assistant, crisis counselor, and daycare teacher assistant through work study.  Outside of school, Assata enjoys hanging out with friends, listening to music, watching movies, and drawing.  Her dream job is to become an emergency room physician in Los Angeles, CA, after attending Stanford Medical School.

 

Laterica Brown
Hometown: Peoria, IL
Classification: Senior
Class of 2020
Major: Criminal Justice

Laterica Brown is a criminal justice major from Peoria, IL.  She is a student worker for the HSSU library.  Laterica is also a proud member of the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.  Outside of school Laterica enjoys hanging out with friends and going shopping.  Laterica’s dream is to become a probation officer for juveniles, then hoping to move up to defense attorney for the city of Dallas, TX.

 

 

Desirae Martinez
Hometown: Tulsa, OK
Classification: Junior
Class of 2021
Major: Biology

Desirae Martinez is a biology major with a concentration in dental health.  Desirae is a member of the NAACP, Student Government Association, biology club, and the National Honor Society of leadership and success.  She works as a certified nurse technician and interns for Aspen Dental over the summer.  Desirae also serves as the vice president of the student association.  She also gives blood frequently and loves to volunteer.  Desirae’s platform is to spread awareness about the high fatality rate of heart attacks and disease in women.  She also wants to promote dental care.  She is a natural hair enthusiast.

 

Jerri Poston
Hometown: St. Louis
Classification: Junior
Class of 2021
Major: Biology


Jerri Poston is a biology major.  She is a biology tutor, teacher’s assistant, a member of MSEIP and MOLSAMP, and a student mentor.  Outside of school Jerri enjoys working with students, teaching and mentoring them about STEM majors.

 


Asia Branham
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Classification: Senior
Class of 2020
Major: Communications

Asia Branham is a communications major from Detroit, MI.  She is a member of many organizations such as the NAACP, NCNW, TRiO, the president of the MGA Chapter, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  She was recently involved in the royal court, being named Miss Sophomore and acting as a Residence Assistant (RA), both in the 2018-2019 school year.  Asia volunteers both on and off campus. She aspires to be a public speaker and entrepreneur.

 

 

Caryna Childs
Hometown: Bakersfield, CA
Classification: Senior
Class of 2020
Major: Biology

Caryna Childs is a biology major form Bakersfield, CA.  She is the previous Captain of the Track and Field team, helps with student support services, and is a member of MOLSAMP.  Her dream is to graduate from HSSU and go to graduate school to become a veterinarian.

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

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