Jerrell Bates, a Psychology major with a minor in mental health counseling wants to change the narrative of the negative stigma surrounding mental health, in particular in the black community. He has the motivation and potential to make an impact in the mental health field through his commitment to addressing this stigma. Bates has also recognized the lack of representation of black individuals in higher education and has committed throughout his time at UNI to working to get individuals of color enrolled in not only mental health programs but education programs as well. His involvement on campus illustrates how he is addressing the fields of mental health and higher education.
As an individual, it is my purpose to be an example to the next generation. The issues surrounding mental health and social problems are ones that I have a deep passion for and I would like to be a part of the solution to help solve these problems. I want to show people that no matter your background, you are able to accomplish anything and together we can accomplish a lot more. The most important roles that I serve in includes being the president of Ethnic Student Promoters where I do my part to help steer students of color towards higher education and being a general body member of the Black Student Union where I especially enjoy educating individuals about the history of my people during Black History Month. I have already started my journey in becoming a positive character of influence and I look forward to doing whatever it takes for me to continue to help build my legacy and be an example of what is possible for the people that will follow behind me.