Whitman Student Finds Home Away from Home During Pandemic
It’s important for college to feel like home... I’m so grateful for my family, but I also have found mentors who are challenging me, supporting me and encouraging me to be my best self.”
Finding a home away from home was important for Jared Byrd ’23 when choosing a college. While his mom encouraged him to attend her alma mater, his first visit to the Whitman School gave him all the reasons to attend: academically challenging coursework, a competitive nature and a second family.
A motivated student and natural leader, Byrd has gotten involved with several on-campus opportunities since his first semester and continues to stay connected while studying remotely this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even though I’m not physically on campus, I still feel like I’m there. I constantly keep in touch with friends, faculty and mentors,” says Byrd.
As a Whitman Leadership Scholar, Byrd lived in the dedicated-learning community with fellow business students, which allowed him to meet like-minded individuals eager to get involved. Byrd is also a member of the Inclusion Student Leaders Internship at the Whitman School, led by Diane Crawford, executive director of institutional culture, who has become both a mentor and a “second mom” to Byrd. The student team helps provide insight into Whitman’s diversity initiatives and the greater campus community to ensure students are academically challenged and socially supported.
“It has been such a profound experience because it allows me to continue to cultivate a community at Whitman where all students can feel comfortable and are able to grow,” says Byrd.
An Our Time Has Come Scholarship recipient, Byrd is heavily involved with the program, providing African American and Latino students mentorship, leadership training and community. He has gained life-long mentors and self-confidence through the relationships he has made through the program.
Undoubtedly, Byrd is most thankful for all of the people he has had the opportunity to meet, work and connect with while at Syracuse University. The platforms provided for networking and interacting with faculty, professionals and even prospective students have given Byrd a second place to call home.
Byrd is interested in using his finance major to work on Wall Street in sales and trading upon graduating. These opportunities have already set a foundation for his future as a student and professional. He is excited to have such a strong community to support him.
“It’s important for college to feel like home,” says Byrd. “Of course, I’m so grateful for my family, but I also have found mentors who are challenging me, supporting me and encouraging me to be my best self.”
By Karley Warden ’21 (NEW/MAX)