What is just a dream for some high school students in East St. Louis became a reality for junior Natasha Anthony through a special community program, a few philanthropic individuals and a unique private college. Blackburn College prides itself on offering a wide variety of scholarship assistance, allowing all students to earn a high quality education, regardless of their financial situation. Natasha is one of these students who was able to take advantage of Blackburn’s financial awards, and has succeeded in amazing ways at Blackburn College.
Natasha is currently working towards a degree in Criminal Justice and is a recipient of the C. Barbara Mueller Scholarship Fund, which helps students who just need a little extra in order to reach their full potential. “When I first came here,” Natasha said, “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I thought maybe I would do architecture, but Blackburn didn’t have that major. I was going to do art, but I realized that wasn’t for me. I took a Criminal Justice class and at that point I knew that was what I wanted to do.”
Natasha first heard about Blackburn from a friend and her grandma also knew about the school. “She knew I was going to come here as soon as I got into high school,” Natasha remembered. “I came here because it’s close to home, I have a full ride, and I love the student-teacher ratio and the environment.”
Natasha has confidence that the Work Program has already helped her prepare for success after graduation. Natasha has shone in the Work Program since she’s been a student. Originally working in food services, Natasha started helping with the Campus Activity Board (CAB) events and bringing new students to the events the CAB had planned. Soon, Natasha was hired by Student Life to work for CAB and has been there since. Natasha has helped plan movie nights, special events for the students, and game nights. “I think it brings more fun to the campus, and it helps people loosen up. It’s a stress reliever and it helps students make new friends and meet new people,” Natasha said.
In addition to working the CAB, Natasha has been a part of Student Senate and has helped bring the student’s needs before college administrators and committees to help better campus life for students. She has also been involved with the campus branch of Habitat for Humanity, and has served as the vice president of Butler house council, is a member of the Multicultural Club, and has worked as a Summer Orientation Leader.
After graduation, Natasha hopes to attend graduate school and pursue her Master’s in Criminology. Afterwards, she hopes to work in a courthouse. Eventually, Natasha hopes to travel to different countries, working with the Criminal Justice systems in other nations.
Natasha has made an impact on Blackburn Campus in dozens of ways. With her natural leadership and ambitions, it will be exciting to see what happens for Natasha after graduation.