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Humans of the U: Sara Cody

"My favorite part about doing programming for the Black Cultural Center is working with the community."

“I had just kind of reached burnout. I saw an advertisement for this position at the U and thought, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s work at the Black Cultural Center and do some programming.’ I had been doing programming for an adoption camp for a while, so I applied and ended up here. Honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

At the Black Cultural Center, I run programming for Operation S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and I am the chair-elect for the Utah Women in Higher Education Network (UWHEN) U of U Chapter. For Operation S.U.C.C.E.S.S. at the Black Cultural Center, I write skill builders for six fellows to learn about building programs. These fellows are both undergraduate and graduate students who get to build their own program or business tailored to the Black community.

My favorite part about doing programming for the Black Cultural Center is working with the community. I get to work with the students, helping them build their big idea. We start by talking about some of the Black issues in our community, then pick what they want to tackle over the whole year.

I also get to work with the surrounding community. To build each one of our eight skill builders, I work one-on-one with a professional in each respective field. Each community professional and I build an entire day-long program on their specialty. I get to work with so many individuals for this whole entire program. That’s really cool.

When it’s all said and done, my favorite piece of this is when we have our big presentation at the end of the year and I can see how much has changed with the fellows standing up at the front of the room. At the beginning of the year, they are so timid, scared to even talk about whether or not they think something like gun violence is a problem. But at the end of the year, they’re able to stand and tell a whole room of people why and what they’re going to do about it. I really love being able to support others as they build that confidence.”

—Sara Cody, program coordinator, Black Cultural Center, UWHEN board member