Mentee and scholar, MeKaisha Jones-Hatcher is a Junior at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). She is pursuing a dual major; she is studying Special Education & Middle Grades Education and completing a Spanish minor. She aspires fulfill her destiny as an educator and social justice advocate. Her HEMI mentor is Suzanne Sartarelli and they have been matched since 2018. MeKaisha was interviewed this month and shares her journey as a student, mother, intern, editorial board member, author and mentee!
MeKaisha, HEMI is so proud of you! Congrats on all of your accomplishments! We can’t wait to see you graduate with your degree!
- What are you interning?
I am also an intern for the nonprofit, Esperanza Latino Center, the internship applies to my Spanish minor.
- What made you interested in education?
I love youth. I would like to be a youth advocate and help with social change. I am also an inclusive and open minded person. I was greatly influenced by my mother who assisted people with special needs for many years.
- What were the biggest impacting steps or processes you’ve experienced throughout your education journey? As well as your life journey?
I started my education journey as a non-traditional student (because I am a mother) and I was also homeschooled for most of my life. I had to adjust very quickly to the new college surroundings as well as being a nursing mother (my first semester of college). My first semester, I managed to end with 3 A’s and B in my classes!
- How does being a mother impact your educational journey? Work journey? Life overall? (Maybe some helpful tips for other determined mamas out there)
Being a mother has 100% positively impacted my educational and overall life journey. I am an effective worker, organized, and I strive to maintain good grades (I’ve made mostly A’s, and some B’s during my higher education experience). Being a parent opens the mind to seeing the world in a different perspective and has inspired me to do my very best. Sometimes my non-parent friends will have difficulty with managing their time or underestimate the time that they have and I have to remember to be understanding of this because I once was the same way.
- How is and/or has the coronavirus affected your life regarding school? How is and/or has the coronavirus affected your life regarding work?
My two NKU job positions, as a student assistant in the Graduates Social Work department and as a student pilot in Norse Advising, has switched to remote work. My son is also at home safe with me. These are the only major changes, and frankly, I am enjoying my extra time at home.
- What are some tips and tricks you think may be helpful for others to know in terms of “Dos & Don’ts” for the coronavirus and containing it?
I will refer to CDC’s directions for keeping safe during this time: Practicing social distancing, only going out for essential items/staying 6 feet away from others, washing hands, and disinfecting the house frequently.
- Can you describe your accomplishments? Who has been within your support system?
I am a Christian, and I believe by the grace of God I have gained my accomplishments. In 2018, I conducted and wrote a 6 month research study, Social Welfare Reform for Single Mothers for which I won 1st place in University of Cincinnati Undergraduate Mediated Minds Research Conference. I am also a member of the International/NKU chapter Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. During my time in college, I have been blessed to receive 7 scholarships which have fully funded my educational journey and help provide for living expenses. I currently serve on the editorial board for NKU’s literary journal, the Pentangle.
I am happy to announce that I have been published in NKU’s literary journal, the Pentangle, as an editor and as a contributor. My work is titled, “A Movement of African American Pride in the Harlem Renaissance”.
Another young lady and myself are the first African American/URM editors in the 28 year history of the Pentangle. Also myself and a different young lady are the only featured URM’s in this edition. I really appreciate HEMI’s continued support and planting the proverbial “seed” in my life!