Hometown: Richmond, VA
Motto: “I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me” -Philippians 4:13
Congratulations to Devon Jackson, a junior Psychology major from Virginia State University. Devon’s involvement on campus is a prime example of VSUExcellence. Read more about Devon below, in his own words.
I fell in love with psychology while taking a dual-enrollment course at community college my junior year of high school. From this moment I established a growing curiosity for the study of the brain, human behavior, and mental health, as well as a passion for helping others. Virginia State University has not only afforded me the opportunity of a higher education but a unique lived experience that can only take place on the sacred grounds of a historically black college. As a first-generation college student at the illustrious Virginia State University, I have begun to create a legacy and wield a torch of knowledge whose light will not only touch my parents, extended family, future spouse, descendants, and community, but also touch the world. My study of psychology at the undergraduate level has further ignited my aspiration to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology aligned in respect to the Boulder Model (Scientist-Practitioner) in order to positively influence the mental health of my community through informed practice, and engage in high impact scholarship and research.
During my time at the illustrious Virginia State University, I have made a firm commitment to serving my university as well as those in surrounding communities. My freshmen year I joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in order to reach out those in need, by volunteering at in crucial service events such as Hashtag Lunchbag in Richmond, VA and distributing food at the Ettrick Elementary Food Bank in Petersburg. I also joined to merge with other bright minds to host creative forums and events on campus that promote higher black consciousness among the student body. My involvement has inspired to lead in a new role as the current Historian of the NAACP, which has allowed me the capacity to capture and commemorate how our organization is making a difference on campus. The psychology department, the best department has two unique student organizations: Psychology Club and Psi Chi. I joined Psychology Club as a freshman to connect with other majors as well as enrich the social experiences of the student body. We conduct events that spark important conversations on campus, discussing topics from how to manage stress to how to maintain a healthy relationship. Last semester, I was inducted as an honorary member of Psi Chi International Honor Society whose mission and purpose align with my goals of constant pursuit and development of merit. Psi Chi conducts tutoring for psychology classes, as well as host forums that inform students about important matters such as graduate school and career possibilities. This year we have adopted Marguerite F. Christian Elementary School as our service project which provides homework assistance, food service, and fun activities to their K-5 afterschool program. This semester has been my second semester being a Supplemental Instruction Leader for Biology I & II. I host two 1-hour study sessions each week, where I create enriching learning experiences that allow for student facilitation with games, handouts, creative examples and problems that assist with mastery of course material. It has been a great pleasure so far helping my peers advance in their studies.
Balancing coursework and extra-curricular activities is very challenging at times. I have learned to stay extremely organized and take care of myself when I need to, so that I may be in a competent state to help others. I frequently repeat the motto or mantra from Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me” which is something my mom passed to me when I was younger. I recite this to remind myself in the midst of any worry or doubt that God has got the situation under control. My mom is probably one of the most influential people in my life. I credit my mom with passing her understanding nature, kind spirit, resilience, and generosity to me. I believe these traits have made me the leader I am today.