Cherèva McClellan ’04
Cherèva McClellan ’04 (Shea Senior High School) graduated from Roger Williams University in 2008, earning a B.S. in Legal Studies with a concentration in Psychology. Cherèva also pursued a graduate degree at Roger Williams University and obtained an M.A. in Forensic Psychology in 2012. “I decided to attend Roger Williams University for the location and the major,” she says. “I stayed at RWU because it felt like home. I liked that it was located in my home state yet was not too close to family and friends. I wanted to gain my independence but not be too far away. When I first toured the campus, I loved the scenery. Waking up to the water, the Mount Hope Bridge, the dock, and the green quad made it easy to stay.”
For Cherèva, a big part of making RWU feel like home was getting involved in student activities. “I found a whole new group of friends,” she says. “I was a member of the campus programming board, which allowed me to meet musicians and comedians who came to perform – from the band Lifehouse to the rapper Common. Through my student leadership activities I attended great conferences in New England and Nashville, Tennessee. My education opened up a world of possibilities that would have otherwise been closed to me,” she continues. “It may sound like a cliché, but I learned a lot about myself. Leaving my small town bubble for college exposed me to different ideas, people, and perspective on the world. College laid the groundwork for my personal and professional development.”
The campus experiences Cherèva had as an undergraduate had a significant influence on the career she has chosen to pursue. She is currently employed at Fisher College, where she holds the dual position of Resident Director and Assistant Director of Student Involvement and Leadership. “I work with college students,” she says. “I have the opportunity to work as a professional in student activities and to cultivate the same enthusiasm in college students I felt as a student leader. In my current position, I work with and supervise my own staff, connect with students, and help students find their place on campus within student activities. Planning, advertising, promoting, and attending events are integral parts of my job, as are developing student leaders. I enjoy it all.”
Prior to joining the staff of Fisher College, Cherèva worked for The College Crusade in a number of positions. She was an Instructor for our Ways to A’s study-skills program and for our ReadAbout program. She also worked as our first Transition Counselor, where she helped graduated Crusaders make a successful transition to college. “Not only was the position a transition for students but for me as well,” she says. “I began to help students figure out their college plans. I liked seeing the College Crusade mission come full circle, from middle school students to high school students receiving Crusade scholarships and going off to college.”
Cherèva appreciated her experience as a Crusader, and she knows firsthand how important that College Crusade scholarship can be. “Receiving a College Crusade scholarship definitely helped me to attend RWU,” she says. “A college education is expensive for many, especially when attending a private institution. Like the majority of students, I am paying back student loans from both my undergraduate and graduate education. I know I would have more to pay back if I had not had the extra assistance from the Crusade scholarship. It helped to cut down the cost of achieving my goal of graduating from college.”
She has a lot of great advice for Crusaders who are starting college this fall. “Be a well-rounded student,” she says. “You are attending college for the main purpose of obtaining a degree, but you can still be an athlete, a student leader, a resident assistant, or a work study student. Experience all you can. College is the time to figure out where you want to go next in life. It is the next stepping stone on your journey. Seek help. Professors and advisors can turn into future colleagues and professional mentors.” She also offers this piece of advice from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson: “Best decision I ever made? To be true to my lifelong interests even in the face of naysayers who are always there to tell you what you cannot or will not achieve.”
In her free time, Cherèva is exploring her new home of Boston and has already taken in her first ever Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
Kazeem Adediran ’04
Kazeem Adediran ’04 (Hope High School) graduated from Rhode Island College in 2009 with a B.A. in Broadcasting & Communication and a minor in Marketing. “Growing up, I always loved to be in the spotlight, and I love sports,” he says. “So becoming a sportscaster and doing two things I loved – to talk, and to talk about sports – was my idea of a dream job.”
Today Kazeem puts his passion for communication into practice as a High School Advisor for The College Crusade, advising Crusaders at Jorge Alvarez High School in Providence about the steps they need to take to be ready for college. Serving as an Advisor is a special experience for him. “I was a Crusader, and now I work for Crusaders,” he says. “The students relate to me because I was once in their shoes. Getting to know each and every Crusader in my school, not only academically but on a personal level, is very rewarding.”
Kazeem credits his own Crusade Advisor when he was in high school, Kalomo Vanterpool, as an important role model. “Kalomo is one of the most, thoughtful, charismatic, stylish, and real people you’ll ever meet,” he says. “His passion for his job as an Advisor can’t be matched. His advice, motivation, and knowledge were the main reasons I went to college. In fact, he is still a role model and remains impactful in my life to this day. I’m privileged to call him a good friend.” Today Kazeem and Kalomo are colleagues in our High School Advisory, working together to motivate high school Crusaders to be their best. For Kazeem, it’s about giving back. “I’m trying to return the favor Kalomo did for me,” he says.
Kazeem is also grateful for the College Crusade scholarship he received in college, especially when he learned he was going to be a father. “At that time I had a job but definitely not enough money to pay for school and support a family,” he says. “With financial aid, grants, rewards for academics, and the Crusade scholarship, I made it through. For me, the scholarship was a life-changing difference.”
Kazeem finds many ways to work on behalf of his community. “I’m actively a member of an organization called Power Circle,” he says. “The group message is to spread positivity throughout the state with events that promote positive living.” The group has held events such as a Toys for Tots basketball tournament, an Earth Day cleanup and garden planting for a local rec center, and a Lend a Hand campaign to help serve food at a nursing home. “The rewards of doing community service – fundraising, volunteering, and helping others – are so gratifying,” he adds.
For Crusaders starting college this fall, Kazeem has this piece of advice: “Have fun and enjoy the experience,” he says. “The memories you make during college are once in a lifetime. Sign up for clubs on campus, join fraternities or sororities, go to all the social and sporting events. For me, the best thing about college was getting out of my comfort zone and spending great times with people I would not normally meet. Making lifelong connections and friendships with genuinely good people was an experience I’ll always remember.”