Kendall Battle, President of I Am That Girl at VCU

Kendall Battle

Age: 22

Year: Senior

Major: English

Hometown: Washington, DC

Why VCU?

I initially got into the art school here because I wanted to do fashion design. I didn’t think I got in because I didn't hear anything from them for a few months, then I ended up getting a personal phone call from the Fashion Design department as my acceptance letter! VCU’s art school is ranked number one or two in the country so I thought it was a pretty good choice.

Favorite experience at VCU so far:

Hmmm, that’s a hard one because there have been so many. I really enjoyed the basketball games and the Wale/J.Cole homecoming concert my freshman year. It was sooooo much fun. Plus me and my best friend had floor seats: #winning.

Favorite book:

I don’t think it’s possible for an English major to have just one! Great Gatsby is one of my favorites.

Last song you listened to:

Photograph by Ed Sheeran. Loooove him!

Biggest role model:

My mom. She’s my inspiration in a nutshell. She’s hard on me at times but I think that’s what has molded me into the young woman I am today. She works really hard at everything she does, never putting under a certain amount of effort into anything. I notice it and I try my best to do the same. I think it’s cool to have your life’s role model be someone you can talk to anytime, any day.

Fun fact:

I love music. I have a music blog I started last year where I spotlight underground talent and do music reviews and artist interviews. It’s www.thethirdavenue.com.

VCU/Community Involvement:

PRSSA, Community Involvement Co-Chair for NAACP, President of IATG, Habitat for Humanity, and I’m training now to be an on-air DJ for VCU’s WVCW radio show!

You used to be involved with HC! Tell us what you did:

I started out as a contributor for the fashion and blog segment at VCU under Sarah (she’s awesome!), and then I started interning as a Campus Advisor for Nationals. As a Chapter Advisor you edit content from 10 to 12 chapters around the world. It was pretty intimidating at first because I felt like “who am I to correct these girls” -- one of my 12 chapters was Princeton! Once I got used to things it was so much fun and I made new friends from all over.

Tell us about I Am That Girl. What does the organization do and what inspired you to start it at VCU?

I Am That Girl or IATG is a female empowerment nonprofit. It was started in the early 2000’s by Alexis Jones & Emily Greener while they were in college. It’s all about self-love and admiration for yourself and others through conversation. The VCU chapter gets together bi-weekly at what we call “Girl Talks” in the Commons and discuss topics that surround us as young women like relationships, skin-care, mental health, media image, etc. We silence the little negative voice in our head and listen to the positive voices of the other girls in the group. I started it because I realized it was something that I was lacking in my own life and it was also lacking on campus. I love being a woman and when women come together for a good cause we can move mountains and uplift each other like no other!

How do you think starting your own student org and becoming involved with IATG has helped you school-wise and career-wise?

It has helped me A LOT, more than I knew before I took the first step. I had never started anything on my own in my life. I was always the one that followed the opinions of others. It really gave me courage in myself to be able to say, “I can do it!” because I did it. It was nerve-racking at first but when everyone gravitated towards us and loved the idea it made me feel really good and full. That confidence is everlasting and will help in my career field.

What's your favorite experience so far with IATG?

Going to Malibu for the IATG Chapter Leader Retreat! 12 chapter leaders from around the country were chosen to go to this retreat in the hills of Malibu and stay in a gigantic mansion for a weekend of soul-searching and friendship. I’m super shy so I was so nervous because I didn't know what to expect and I didn't know anyone, but that weekend forever changed my life for the better and I left with twelve new best friends.

How, if at all, would you tie in IATG with your major or career aspirations?

It really helps with your internal well-being more than anything. We don’t realize how powerful a  meaningful conversation can be to someone. I take that idea everywhere now. So I would say in my career field of PR which is all about relationships, I will always believe that a conversation with someone’s soul can make a relationship stronger.

A word of advice?

College is what you make it. You learn so much more than book work. With graduation right around the corner I realize how much my life has changed since freshman year. If the only thing you do is get up and go to class and go home, you won’t stretch. You shouldn’t be the same person you came as when you are graduating -- not even close. You should be the person you admired. Everyone has the potential to stretch themselves beyond their limits, so STRETCH yourself!