ALMA — Lauryn Bishop chose to go to Alma College because the school took an interest in her and her interests.
That initial impression has only deepened in the two-and-a-half years Bishop has attended Alma. Now a junior, Bishop believes she’s ready for whatever comes next in life thanks to the chances she’s been given to succeed at Alma College.
“I chose to go to Alma over a larger state school, and I don’t regret it at all,” Bishop said. “I think if I would have gone elsewhere, I wouldn’t have gotten the attention I have here. I’ve learned so much and found a community I’ll have for the rest of my life. When I was in high school, I always felt like Alma really cared about me, and I think I’ll always feel that way.”
Bishop graduated from Detroit Edison Public School Academy’s Early College of Excellence. She came to Alma as part of the Campbell Scholars program, as well as the King-Chavez-Parks (KCP) First Year Mentor Program, and believes both to be heavily influential in her success at the college.
“I didn’t know much about college when I got here — I am a first-generation college student — and thanks to these programs, I was able to learn more about what’s expected of me and how I can make my voice heard,” Bishop said.
“These experiences stick with you. I still keep in touch with my mentor from the KCP program, Maggie Rosales, even though she has graduated. She tells me about how she is in graduate school now, and how well she’s doing because of the education she received at Alma. It makes me feel confident that I’m in the right place.”
Bishop is involved in a number of different organizations on campus, and works as a student assistant in the college’s Diversity and Inclusion Office. In addition to that work, she is a resident advisor for the Julius Chatman Living Learning Community (JCLLC), the diversity, equity and inclusion chair of the college’s Panhellenic Council and vice president of the Kappa Iota sorority.
She counts her work with the JCLCC as some of her proudest moments. Particularly, Bishop points to the creation of a mural which is printed on the wall of the Gelston Hall wing where students in the JCLCC reside. With help from Chatman’s family, Bishop created the mural — an opportunity that she says might not have come at a larger school.
“The whole creation of the JCLLC really stands out, because it gave me the chance to help people in a similar situation that I was in,” Bishop said. “The mural was especially cool, because I had the opportunity show what I can do creatively. That’s something that is going to be on the wall of that residence hall for a long time — how cool is that?”
Bishop is an art and design major and a new media studies minor who plans to pursue a career in social media marketing, combined with graphic design — a passion she discovered while working in the Diversity and Inclusion Office. She’s unsure whether she wants to pursue a graduate degree or enter the workforce upon graduation, but she is sure of one thing: she made the right choice by picking Alma.
“I’m happy to have the resources to get me to where I am today, because I think that without them, I would still be the quiet girl I was in high school,” Bishop said. “I’ve found my voice here.”