Makayla Sejat, a second year student majoring in Speech Pathology and Audiology at Kent State University, developed a commitment to community at a young age. Makayla grew up volunteering with local organizations in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a high school student, Makayla organized an initiative named "Adopt a Soldier," rallying peers and families to support members of the Armed Forces--including her brother--by assembling over 200 care packages and shipping them overseas. Since arriving at Kent State, Makayla has developed a passion for reducing homelessness; both her academic focus and her involvement with Delta Zeta Gamma Kappa sorority have also led her to serve as a steadfast advocate for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. As a Service Leader on our campus, Makayla helps her peers discover how they can positively transform their community. Through this fellowship, Makayla will team up with students, faculty, staff, and local residents to design and plan initiatives in our community that advance equity for people with different abilities and reduce homelessness in the surrounding area.
From the time I was able to actively help others, my grandmother took me to service events. I can remember being as young as seven and helping pack sack dinners with Kid’s Food Basket in Grand Rapids, MI. The skill of helping where help is needed has carried me through life. Seeing many injustices in life has rocked my core. Upon arriving in Kent, I have developed increased awareness of injustices including hunger, racial injustice, foster care, and many more. Being a part of Greek life has also opened my eyes to many different philanthropic organizations that fight many different causes. My Speech Pathology/Audiology major has led me to become an advocate for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. My involvement with Community Engaged Learning has led me to help others discover how they can impact their community. My goal through this Fellowship is to use community engagement projects and teamwork to combat the many injustices that plague our communities by examining and confronting their root causes.