Marist College has joined the American Talent Initiative (ATI) in an effort to work with other colleges and universities to expand opportunities for higher education. Just 4% of students from lower-income families access the colleges and universities with the best graduation rates. That’s why ATI’s goal is to graduate an additional 50,000 lower-income, higher-achieving students in 270 different colleges and universities by 2025. Marist is proud to be a part of the American Talent Initiative, we believe every talented student – regardless of income – should have their shot at achieving the American Dream. To help inspire future high school graduates to attend college, Marist has chosen to highlight the achievements of different Marist students, and this month we spoke to Ikponmwosa Pat-Osagie.
Ikponmwosa is a sophomore from Bronx, New York. He is majoring in Psychology with two minors in Cognitive Science and Theatre. He has always loved acting, but explained, “There weren’t too many opportunities to become involved in theatre in the Bronx, so being able to study theatre as a minor at Marist has been incredible.”
He recalls the day he discovered Marist. Ikponmwosa was part of a Pre-College program at his high school. The program had a partnership with Marist where Marist offered to pay half of a high achieving students tuition. Ikponmwosa took a tour of the campus and fell in love. “The Hudson River is so beautiful, and everyone was so friendly. It was a lot different from the South Bronx and somewhere I saw myself living for the next four years,” he said.
Then he found out that Marist offered a minor in theatre, “I remember coming to Open House and seeing there was a Theatre minor and even a Theatre scholarship. But, the applications were due the next day!” Luckily Ikponmwosa was able to submit his audition tape on time, and he got the scholarship. He explained how one of his favorite things about Marist is being able to study Psychology and still pursue his love for acting at the same time. He said, “Not many schools offer Theatre as a minor, so it was a big reason I came to Marist.” He is able to explore his passion for understanding the human mind and still perform in the two plays each semester.
Ikponmwosa is making the most of his college experience while he juggles his major, two minors, two jobs, and two board positions of clubs, but he loves it! “I love being hands on, and Marist gives me so many opportunities to do so,” he said. He loves to keep busy. When I asked him who motivates him to keep working hard he said, “My upperclassman friends. I watch them do everything they’re doing and realize if they can do it, I can too. They’re proof it can be done!”
Have a student you think should be highlighted for Red Fox Spotlight? Let us know!