October 11, 2018 – Alumni of Georgetown’s Community Scholars Program gathered at a 50th-anniversary celebration Oct. 5 to reminisce and talk about the importance of continuing support for first-generation and underrepresented students..
“The Community Scholars Program was really a support system that helped me get through all four years,” said Laurel Iron Cloud (C’92), now deputy director of the Indian Law and Order Commission, during a panel discussion in Gaston Hall.
Iron Cloud shared her story about growing up on a rural South Dakota reservation and moving to the bustling city of Washington D.C., to attend Georgetown.
She joined a panel of Community Scholars representing each of the five decades of the program’s existence:
- Dr. James Chesley (C’75), a gastroenterologist in Maryland
- Dr. Gloria Bowles-Johnson (C’85), a physician at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital
- Joseph Almeida (C’05), mathematics lecturer for Geffen Academy at the University of California at Los Angeles
- Rev. Bonnie Duncan (C’13, G’17), a residential minister for campus ministry.
Charlene Brown-Mckenzie, director of the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access, which now houses the program, moderated the discussion.
“There are so many lived experiences and journeys here,” said Brown-Mckenzie, also a Community Scholars alumna. “It is one hope, institutionally, that we can continue to bring in students from all over this country that have their own unique story to share and [show them] why Georgetown is a better place for them and because of them.”