My Project Threshold advisor, Mrs. Carter, helped me choose my major and greatly impacted my goals for my professional future. I am writing today to tell my story about what Project Threshold has done for me.
Before I was introduced to this program, I had a very independent mentality and insisted on doing things on my own and supporting myself. I soon realized that this was extremely difficult because we all need someone there to help us. I found the help I needed within Project Threshold. This community of people took me under their wing and nurtured me to become the student leader I am today. This was largely thanks to the guidance of my counselor, Mrs. Carter, who instilled not only a servant leader, but the value of a community within me. Project Threshold is my community, and I believe that everyone needs one.
As a university, OU prioritizes efforts to establish the “OU Family” through various programs and opportunities. While great resources, my family cannot be found in CAC, a Panhellenic Sorority, nor athletics; I found my family within Project Threshold. This is a community where I can be myself rather than the double-life version of myself (often, minorities tend to be more self-conscious in predominantly white spaces), receive true support and guidance, and be at peace.
This program is more than just an office with free printing and financial support. It is a second home where I can retreat from the problems life is weighing down on me. Crystal Carter has been the backbone of my experiences here at the university.
I remember when I first met her; I had my mask on. I was the Te’a that I am often forced to present throughout the day. She knew my walls were up and was determined to help break them down. She allowed me to be myself around her and enabled me to trust and let her love the real me. Mrs. Carter taught me how to love who I am. Mrs. Carter taught me how to be gracious. Mrs. Carter taught me the power of preserving the Black community.
I’m not sure where I’d be without Mrs. Carter, but I do know I wouldn’t be anywhere near reaching the self-actualization I experience today without her. Mrs. Carter works so hard for her student’s well-being because she truly cares about our future. When life got tough, I ran to Mrs. Carter for a shoulder to cry on. When the university had failed me with an incident of embezzled money, Mrs. Carter was right by my side helping me fight back. When I felt alone, I knew I had at least one person on my team. I want to again stress the importance of this program. It is a life changer, it is a life creator, and a life sustainer.
I am Project Threshold, here we come!
Te’a Williams is a member of Project Threshold and an OU Sophomore studying Criminology with a double minor in Spanish and International Studies. She hopes to one day join the Peace Corps.