A New Perspective
Ziyana Greene knew what she wanted for college: a small private school with resources on par with a larger university and a diverse student community. She’d always assumed that she’d find that experience at a historically black college or university (HBCU). It was a shock, then, when touring, she found that “despite being great schools, they just didn’t feel right. They didn’t click for me.”
Sensing her mounting frustration, college counselor Brandon Carter suggested she check out a school she’d never heard of—Agnes Scott College—a small liberal arts college for women in Atlanta, Georgia. While not an HBCU, it did tick a lot of her boxes. She booked a last-minute trip, a final stop on her college tour before heading home.
On arriving, her first contact was a student tour guide from the Republic of The Gambia who’d never been to the United States before attending Agnes Scott. “She’d applied from abroad and her very first experience in the United States was her move-in day,” marvels Greene.
“She was so courageous. It made me feel brave and made me recognize my privilege. To that point, I had these ideas of what diversity was, what it would look like, but Agnes Scott gave me a whole new lens. It has a huge international population and I was excited to hear all those different stories and perspective. I knew that this was where I wanted to be.”
Greene—who is pre-law, majoring in political science, minoring in human rights, and pursuing a specialization in leadership development—has made the most of her first-year college experience. Highlights have included a study abroad in Ghana to research women in leadership; working in the admissions office where she enjoys interacting with the diverse community and has developed close mentorship relationships with senior faculty; induction in the Leadership Society; and her successful campaign and election as Public Relations Coordinator for the Pre-Law Society.
Greene credits Agnes Scott and, more broadly, the women’s college experience as giving her a newfound sense of empowerment and confidence. “It is inspiring to see other women supporting each other and really going after what they want, letting no one stop them. At Agnes, we don’t have to compete. Each woman’s accomplishments are seen not just as hers, but as opening doors for everyone.” She adds, “Don’t get me wrong, competition is important in the professional world and we learn how to compete. But, when you know your worth, you can compete in the world a lot differently and more successfully.”