Ophelia Augustine ’13 says her journey at the University of San Diego truly started when people reached out to help her and, in turn, showed her how to make a tangible difference in the world.
“When I came to USD, I had six classes and worked part-time at Home Depot and Copley Library. I was helping out my parents and raising two kids. In community college, I could take that class load and get straight A’s. I thought I could do the same thing here, but it was too much.
I didn’t know how to ask for help. I was ashamed and embarrassed.
What brought me back the next semester were the people — the faculty and staff who reached out to me and said, ‘We’re not going to let you fail.’ That’s when I knew I belonged here.
People here made a difference in my life and made me see that I’m making a difference too. In the Black Student Union, our mission is to break down stereotypes. We want people to hear the stories of their fellow students and realize what they have in common.
I’ve been on a difficult journey and I’m finally graduating. Now that it’s about to come to an end, I’m asking myself, ‘Did I do everything I was supposed to do? Did I make an impact? Did I help create change? It came so fast, but I’m excited because this is going to be a new chapter in my life and I know I can’t be afraid of change. USD has given me everything — I’ve changed so much here. I’m ready to see what the world has for me. I’m ready to leave so there’s room for another student whose life can be changed.”