Meet Our Summer Associates: Jarschire Dennis

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Jarschire Dennis | University of California, Merced | Class of 2022

This is Jarschire Dennis a summer associate for the Richmond Promise for the summer of 2019. He is a Kennedy graduate of the class of 2018 aka Class of the Greats, He currently attends The University of California, Merced as a Psychology Major. He is a Richmond Native with a strong determination to see his community and his fellow peers achieve a life-lasting success. Whether it be post-secondary education, entrepreneurship, or vocational career Jarschire is an advocate for it all. His dream is to gain a doctorates degree in Psychology and start a program for children coming from impoverished areas to help them with obtaining ideas and motivation for a post-graduation life and dealing with the internal trauma associated with living in an impoverished environment. 

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Expand on hardships/motivational factors that influence you to this day

I am Jarschire Dennis, a young African-American man from Richmond California endowed with ambition and grit. I come from a rather poor neighborhood where hope is a dream and dreams are a myth, but I refuse to believe that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, so I plan to get ahead in life by doing what can. My dream is to find myself at the top of the latter doing something I love, helping the youth. I want to be able to help the youth who come from underserved communities and neighborhoods as I do, I want them to see that we are capable to make it through, the hood; go to college and succeed in life. My mother had to struggle to raise 6 kids all by herself. My father was never around so I was left with no other option, and my mother was left with no support. During the course of my life, I worked hard to overcome the certain boundaries that I lived in. Coming from a harshly low socioeconomic stance, it was hard for me to live my home life and build my academic life. I have overcome many life challenges other than the hardship of poverty. In doing so I have gained an undefeatable mindset of achieving all my goals and never backing down from the world and never letting it determine my limits.   

Q: How has the Richmond Promise played a role in your education?

The Richmond Promise has helped me began my goal of academic cultivation. Not only by helping me financially but also helping me with getting prepared for college through college success workshops and help to find on-campus resources. The workshops helped me with college-going confidence and understanding of FAFSA.

Q: What do you want to contribute to Richmond, or to the world?

Currently, my major is Psychology and by the end of this fall I will be picking up a minor in philosophy dealing with Morals and Ethics. With my Psychology degree, my median goals are to become either a psychiatrist if I make it into med school but more realistically going to grad school and becoming a marriage and family therapist. 

However, my long term goal is to get my doctorates and come back to the city of Richmond and open up a clinic in local schools talking about and dealing with the issue I identify as “Hood  Trauma”. Hood Trauma can include but not limited to the circumstances of our living and coming from areas like Richmond and every single unique experience that the children of Richmond face that a lot of other communities in the same socio-economic pool can relate to.

Moreover, I have noticed that because of this hood trauma a lot of our students don’t graduate and those who do either don’t pursue anything after high school or fall into a post-high school depression. I believe this is because of the trauma of that the students are exposed to while living in Richmond and the things that they are not exposed to which others are things like college, and post-graduation life and becoming whoever they want to be. I believe all these issues are the fundamentals of hood trauma and the reason behind why students may feel trapped and afraid to pursue a post-graduation life to help further and better themselves. 

Q: Can you tell us about your current college experience?

During my first year, I was able to meet a ton of great people and network with them as well as teachers and administration. I have run for and gained the office of Internal Vice President for AfroHall. Afro stands for Afrikans for Retention & Outreach. The Organization is designed to help all its students achieve academic success while participating in community service and peer mentoring. However, UC Merced has been great to me and I have met a lot of people whom I would call genuine friends. The year wasn’t the easy battle I struggled a lot with the coursework but received weekly tutoring to help me combat it and I feel like this first year is the most that I have learned in a very long time.  

Q: What are you looking forward to after receiving your bachelor’s?

After I graduate I am looking into joining a Ph.D. program where I can get my doctorates in Psychology and hopefully began my own program Identifying and working with students suffering for hood trauma and help them achieve a successful post-high school life.


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