Hometown: Little Rock, Ark.
Major: Political Science
MINOR: Communication Studies
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Internships: Interned at the Clinton Global Initiative, an initiative of the William, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation
Activities: Student Government Association president, campus jobs in the Office of Admissions and the Academic Advisement Office
Honors and Awards: SGA President’s Scholarship
Before becoming a student at WCSU, Corey Paris attended Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan. He began there in fall 2009 and while concluding his studies in spring 2011, Paris stopped by our campus during Valentine’s Day Weekend. "I was visiting the area and stumbled upon Western," he says. "I was in the process of transferring and my sights were set on the University of Kansas, but when I visited Western's campus, I immediately fell in love. I knew that this was the place where I would be an individual and not another number."
Paris knew early on that political science was what he wanted to pursue. He explains, "I wanted to definitely work in a sector or field where I would be able to make sustainable change for those who are in need or are otherwise considered underrepresented in their communities."
While at Western, Paris says many members of the faculty and staff have taken him under their wing. "There are far too many to name," he says, "but it feels like a close-knit family with all of the wonderful and intuitive mentors that the community has granted me."
Asked what he will remember most about his WCSU experience, Paris says, "It has to be during the time when I was working in the WCSU Admissions Office. There was a mother who had been faced with the uphill battle of trying to get her ill son into school. Her son was behind because he had developed a brain tumor and due to surgery and recovery, it was unforeseen as to his ability to attend college. We worked with her and her son, walked them step-by-step through the processes that are expected of students when they apply, and we sat and waited for the fate of his future. She saw me in the mall one day and immediately ran to me in tears. She was hugging me and sobbing, all at the same time. It was at that moment that it dawned on me that even as a student worker, I could make a difference for those who need help climbing the ladder of success."
After graduation, Paris says his plans are like those of many other students. "Work hard, put good use to my degree, maybe buy a home with a white picket fence and settle down. For us, in my generation, that has been quoted as being the 'American Dream,' but anyone who knows how life really works knows that there is not a one-size-fits-all dream. I hope to continue to do charity work for causes that are important to me. I hope to spend more time with my family, reading and serving others. It is my hope to serve the rest of my life in the public service sector, running for office after graduate school."
Paris’ advice to new students entering WCSU is: "There will be days that are easy and most certainly, there will be days that are hard. Some people are great and others are only in your life for a season. You'll question why it is that you are studying in the field that you have committed yourself to and there seems to be no end in sight of going to school. Enjoy it. Love it. When all else fails, always bleed deep for the navy blue and copper because Western will forever be in your heart."