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I am AACC: Richard Russ, Black Student Union President
Enrolled at AACC: 2006
[Twenty Questions with Richard Russ]
1. How did you decide to come to AACC?
“I ended up at AACC through two friends from high school who were in the AACC Summer Bridge program. When they first told me about it I didn’t want to do it because I didn’t want to be home during the summer, but then I found out it’s a free credit and you get to meet all these people. So, I thought I would go there and just be the coolest kid ever, so I took advantage of the total experience. After the program I started at AACC in the fall.”
2. Can you explain the Summer Bridge program for those who don’t know?
“You have to apply for the program, which only accepts thirty students. You come to AACC every day Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-2 pm. for the summer and they simulate college life. There are three pseudo classes of reading, writing, and math, which are less intense versions of an actual class. You have a motivational speaker or someone who talks about anything that pertains to the age group or encouraging self esteem or self image—they have a topic for everything. Sometimes they have a professor that comes in and talks about his or her field. At the end of the program, you’ll be closer to deciding a major or knowing what you want to do. It’s a good program that includes kids from every high school in the county, so you meet a lot of different people. Personally, I’m very close with six or seven people from the program and it’s been three years since then. It’s a wonderful program.”
3. How would you encourage someone to apply for Summer Bridge?
“You learn your resources and who to talk to for what. Through the program I met faculty and staff and built relationships, all because of Summer Bridge.”
4. Did it help you figure out what you wanted to do?
“It helped me gain a focus. I didn’t know about all the opportunities that were here, like the different clubs. It helped me to know what I wanted to get involved in so I don’t have to spend half a semester trying to figure out how I’m going to do what I want to do, I can just have a plan. It helped me attack school.”
5. What did you major in when you first came to AACC?
“Journalism. I realized when you write and do things that have to do with journalism, it’s all under communications. When I heard about all the opportunities in that field like broadcasting and news, I knew it was definitely something I could handle because I like talking to people. Being in front of people and speaking in front of an audience is not an issue for me.”
6. Where did your passion for writing come from?
“It started out with drawing and coloring. Everybody in my household is really artistic. My mother is really talented and my older brother is talented when it comes to drawing. Some families sit down and watch TV together but as kids we would draw and color. I started a journal when I was 11 or 12 and that’s when I realized that this is what I like. I write about what I like and what I like to do or writing things that will help people; just playing around with words was fun for me so it was around that time that I figured out that’s what I want to do.”
7. How was your first year at AACC?
“It was difficult the first year because I was trying to figure out a lot of things on my own. I knew about my resources, but I was trying to be independent. I was all about trying to make my schedule myself, my transportation issue was out of control, I was barely getting to classes, and I was more into the social aspect of it. I had to get myself together my first year while I was trying to figure everything out.”
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