The DeSousa-Brent Scholars Program gives those who are underrepresented a platform for their voice and a guide to aid those who are first generation college students. The program’s outstanding reputation comes from students in this program who have succeeded with their grades and internships. The students thrive in this program because having a community to share and voice their opinions, along with having representation to show who they are in this campus allows them to stand up themselves and their background like the founders of this program.
According to our new DeSousa-Brent Scholar coordinator Jennifer Platt, “The students drive us and even though the DeSousa-Brent Scholars Program offers the students resources, it is all up to the student.” She coordinates the programs and tries to come up with fun events for the future of the DeSousa-Brent Program. The best part of her job though, “is working with the students, they are kind and hardworking”.
Platt grew up in Connecticut, but decided to get a job in Maryland. She researched Maryland jobs and not only found St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM), but this program specifically called out to her. She found this program very unique and then decided to be a part of the St. Mary’s life. At first it is hard because everyone at one point in this college experience is a first year so she, not knowing the area, had to get used to the overall feel and surroundings of this campus, but she will understand it. She wanted to work for and with these underrepresented students to get their voices heard and to make a mark on the world even if it is their first time in college. That is what being a DB coordinator is all about to give extra help to those students who need it. They help those students who don’t know what they are doing. Anyone can join this program after their freshman year, given the right credentials, and everyone there seemed so nice, especially Mrs. Jennifer Platt, herself. “Academic courses need to be rigorous, but that doesn’t mean college life should be”. College life should be fun and enjoyable, for trying new things and making new friends.
No matter where you come from you are given a voice and this program makes these scholars stand out as individuals. These students are also leaders of the St. Mary’s College community because they are leading their ethnic and first year generation groups into the future. “These students want someone to listen to”, and that is what the DeSousa-Brent or DB scholar’s program stands for. They will be the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders of the past are also influential to these present leaders.
The background or the start of this program came from Mathias DeSousa and Margaret Brent. They each made a stand in St. Mary’s county as individuals. Mathias DeSousa was a slave but made his mark in St. Mary’s county by being the first black American landowner. Margaret Brent was the first women who was a suffragette who bought land as well in St. Mary’s. Both of these people and all of these people in the present are of an influence to the scholars in the future because everyone is going to make their voices heard by enjoying the classes they are most interested in.