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Leadership Highlight: Xavier University of Louisiana’s SGA President Kennedy Carey-Prescott

Photo Credit: @omariasphotos

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Xavier University of Louisiana and did an interview with Kennedy Carey-Prescott the 2023-2024 Student Government Association president.

The position of SGA president is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes in being elected by their peers to lead. Carey-Prescott, who is majoring in Biology Pre-Medicine, is from Shreveport, Louisiana. She is a proud Fall 2021 initiate of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Photo Credit: @omariasphotos

We interviewed Kennedy Carey-Prescott, and talked to her about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in 2023-2024.

Read the full interview below.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned as an SGA president so far?

So far, I have learned a lot about leadership and responsibility. Being SGA President is not a job that should be taken lightly. It is important to learn how to work with different personalities. I have also learned many skills that I will take with me for the rest of my life, including budgeting, public speaking, and being a part of various boards and committees. It is also a very humbling and vulnerable position because you have to be held accountable from all sides – administration, the student body, and your executive board. This is where responsibility and dependability come in. I have learned that having a supportive team around me really makes all the difference because this is not a heavy responsibility that I should have to carry on my own. Having a spirit of positivity is never a bad idea also. There are so many moving parts in SGA and in a university that it can all get overwhelming, but remembering the support that I have and knowing that it is all a part of the journey has gotten me through.

What made you decide to attend Xavier University of Louisiana for undergrad?

I decided to attend Xavier University of Louisiana because of its stellar pre-med program. Xavier is #1 in producing graduates who go on to complete medical school. It was also very important for me to attend an HBCU because of the culture and my need and desire to be surrounded by people who look like me that want to strive toward their goals and aspirations.

Photo Credit: @chrispycaptures

How has Xavier University of Louisiana molded you into the person you are today?

Xavier has contributed greatly to the person that I am today. I have learned more about how to remain true to myself while also trying to discover who I am as a young black woman in this world. Xavier has provided a safe space for me to grow academically, socially, and in leadership. I know that I am who I am because Xavier has poured into me by providing an experience full of people who push me to my full potential and believe that I have what it takes to achieve my dreams.

What specific initiatives have you headed up this year (or are planning) and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?

This year, my administration has focused a lot on the student experience as a whole, ranging from events to mental health. One specific initiative is starting a task force that is focused on providing students with an outlet to ask specific questions to gain answers from administrators. We did this by starting a series of Campus Community Conversations that provide students with the opportunity to have genuine, intimate conversations with campus leaders versus the formal communication that they are used to. We have also begun initiatives to ensure that our university is fully stocked with feminine hygiene products. We are currently in the research and statistics phase of this project. We have also made it our mission to figure out what constitutes a true HBCU experience that some students felt they were missing. One of the steps we have made in this is connecting our athletics department with the rest of the student body and campus to sponsor events that encourage and show school spirit. I am excited to see how various aspects of student life improvement will continue even after my administration’s term is complete.

Photo Credit: @chrispycaptures

How is your SGA administration/school currently working on attending to the mental health of students?

My SGA administration is working on a project that would provide mental health days to the student body in order to offset the challenging nature of Xavier’s curriculum. The school has also made sure to employ more mental health providers and leadership in those areas so that students are provided with enough resources to promote a healthy mental state. We also try to promote and curate events that are catered to giving students a safe space on campus. Currently, we are also working to create a student-centered space within our University Center that would allow students a space to unwind and relax between classes.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership means listening. It means taking the time to pay attention to the people that you lead and identifying what their needs are. Being a leader also takes a special kind of finesse in knowing how to approach certain situations and individuals. As a leader, it is also important to be flexible because you never know where leadership may take you on any given day. There is not one leadership quality that supersedes others as leadership requires a conglomerate of qualities combined with realization that one needs a supportive team around them in order to truly succeed.

Photo Credit: @omariasphotos

We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2023/2024?

Schools need to tap into social media in order to boost representation. It is important that people all across the world know of the great work and accomplishments of these schools, especially HBCUs. In this digital age, we are seeing more push and support behind HBCUs because of the greatness and excellence that they produce. I think the digital world has also opened a world of new information and opportunities for all. Students are now more aware of the opportunities that are available to them, prompting increased attendance and interest in schools such as HBCUs.

Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?

Watch the Yard is very important to Black students and college culture because it is an outlet and a center for Black excellence. Watch the Yard represents the excellence that is embedded within Black culture. The experience of an HBCU is so unique and must be valued and cataloged. I believe that Watch the Yard does a wonderful job of collecting the gems from our culture each day. Because of platforms like this, the history of Black students and our culture will forever be remembered, treasured, and held as a standard for continues growth.

Photo Credit: @omariasphotos

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

After graduation, I will attend medical school in order to become a medical doctor. I am currently undecided on the medical that I will attend. I also hope to continue to dive into health care policy and advocacy work as that is a passion of mine.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Kennedy Carey-Prescott for her work as the SGA president of Xavier University of Louisiana.

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