Micaiah Anderson, 18, leads the Multi-Cultural Club at school and is planning on a career in international law.
Question: What are your college plans?
Answer: I have been accepted and have committed to Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. I haven’t been notified of any scholarships thus far, just loans. I have applied for a few scholarships locally around Mill Creek and Everett.
Q: What do you want to study?
A: Pre-law, and I want to become an international attorney focusing on human rights and I want to work for an NGO. I’ve always been really interested in social justice and I always wanted to be an attorney. But it wasn’t until I took Global Studies that I got interested in international relations. I think it was the things I became a part of, like the team leadership program, that made me more aware of the under-represented and seeking justice for them.
Q: You’re also in the Running Start program at Everett Community College?
A: I’ve been doing Running Start since summer of 2015. What I would do is take summer classes. This year is the first year I’d had both Jackson classes and Everett Community College. I just now took Global Studies and I took Painting 1, and before I took Humanities, English 101 and English 102, and then I took a yoga class, so I’ve taken all my prerequisites for English.
Q: Tell me about your experience in the Multi-Cultural Club.
A: I have been president for the past two years, before that I was just a member my freshman year. When I was just a member the club wasn’t vocal and we didn’t have a lot of members and do as much. I did a lot of networking, got involved with the community, pitching the idea that we’re going to be doing community service, making sure that it’s a club where everybody is welcome and every month focusing on a new culture.
Q: How’d you get the club more involved with the community?
A: Because there are so many different organizations I’ve been a part of it’s easier to just make a connection and invite people to come in to speak to our club. I invited an Army recruiter and my best friend is now going to go into the military with that recruiter’s help. It’s making sure that kids are actively involved in networking with community leaders.
Q: What other organizations are you involved in?
A: Definitely the NAACP Youth Development Program because they have so many different community leaders like Bronson Edwards, who works for Boeing, or Janice Greene, who is the president of the NAACP Snohomish County chapter, and also Annie Cole, who isn’t with the NAACP, but the vice principal Ms. (Michelle) Renee knows her and she used to work for the school district. She’s an attorney.
Q: Tell us about how you reach out to other students.
A: Definitely, if there’s a student of color at Jackson I go up to them and say, “Hi! I’m Micaiah. How are you?” I let them know about the club, who I am, if they have someone they need to talk to (because most of them are from out of state), give them my number if need be, give them a tour of the school. It’s definitely just taking initiative and networking with people.
Q: What was your high school experience like initially?
A: When I first came into high school it was really hard for me. I really had to develop myself. I didn’t like going to school where I was a minority. Coming into high school I had a lot more friends who were black. We stuck together and not all of them were positive influences on me. I didn’t really focus on my career goals until my sophomore and junior year.
Q: What were your grades like then?
A: They were like average, Bs and Cs, and this year I had like a 3.7, straight As.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I like to write. I like to paint and draw, I like to read and study.
Q: What do you like to read or write?
A: I kind of like to read my own history. Like Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Angela Davis, philosophy. I usually just write like how I’m feeling.
Q: Where do you want to be 10 or 20 years from now?
A: I have so much I want to do in my life. I hope to work for the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Then when I figure out what my niche is, I want to travel. I want to work for an NGO internationally, working for people in different countries and giving them legal representation.
Q: Who do you consider a role model?
A: Ms. (Rose) Smith, definitely a major one. She, for one, was my first teacher of color, ever. She’s definitely my mentor, she helps me a lot with college applications. I would not be at this point in my life if it were not for her. Oh, and Lauryn Hill. I saw her in concert and saw her in person. I want her to do another album, and I wonder what’s taking her so long.
Q: Do you get to travel much?
A: Definitely down south, I’ve never been out of the U.S. but definitely one of the things I’m going to do is study abroad as much as I can. But my family’s from South Carolina and Florida so I’ve been all over the South. I grew up here but every summer I’d go down to South Carolina and spend time with my grandmother down there.
Q: Why do you want to study abroad?
A: That’s my goal, each summer I’m in college, to go somewhere to study abroad. Because I know there’s much more to life than what’s just in the United States. My best friend is from the Caribbean, and I want to gain that experience of what it means to be a global citizen.