By Opalyn Bradley || Goshen High School || Class of 2020

My experience at the Black Belt Friday Bus Tour was perception changing. Everyone that came and presented had real and clear views on life after high school. Dr. Christopher K. Bass spoke to all of the seniors and he moved me with his story. He spoke of his life story, his experience, his mindset, his view and how he wanted to leave a legacy behind him. He got his doctorate in psychology. Dr. Bass came to my table and spoke to me directly because of my interest in psychology. He told me he would help in any way he could to help me achieve this dream of mine. He also mentioned that is was long and worthwhile road to follow and that more women are needed in the field of psychology. I have to be willing to work hard and not give up. I have always been fascinated with the mind of people, people’s morals, values, their way of thinking.

When two of the most amazing women sat down at my group table, I wondered how I was going to make the setting less awkward and boring. I introduced myself and made short, funny conversations. Alexis Cargile and Dr. Charmane Perry were the women that sat at my group table. Dr. Perry came first, she seemed a bit quiet and to herself. She is an assistant professor for African American Studies. In my head she was very empowering. Dr. Perry gave me another perspective on college. At first I came to this bus tour bored out of mind, dreading that I was even there, but after speaking to Dr. Perry, I quickly got interested. All of the people at my table had discussions on what college life is like, how to get help if needed, and what UAB offered us. Dr. Bass definitely intrigued me, but Dr. Perry inspired me to work smarter and find some sort of direction on what to do after high school. I don’t think I will ever be able to forget what influence she has left on me.

Alexis Cargile was softer spoken. She was super sweet and so smart. I could tell right away she was the one who made straight A’s in high school. Ms. Cargile majors in some sort of education. She told me that it can be hard in school, but that any kind of help is there if you look for it. She also mentioned that there are so many clubs and organizations that are available at UAB. I enjoyed befriending them. We even stood together in line, waiting for the chicken tenders. As we ate, more people at my table asked basic questions on college life. Honestly this experience turned out to be something I did not expect. I didn’t expect to be so engaged and focused on listening to people’s stories and how they got to where they are now. With that being said, I thank everyone who participated and spoke to my class and myself included. My point of view will be different from now on.