Meet Braxton Shelton-Epps, a senior and member of Her Campus at Clarke Atlanta University. She has a lovely and warm spirit, amazing style and is crazy talented at writing. I’m sure both the student body and faculty at Clarke have genuinely enjoyed the past four years that she has been in school earning her degree in English. I, however, have had the pleasure of knowing Shelton-Epps since I was a freshman in high school. Though I know she’s grown since then, I’m sure she is still just as kind, insightful and brave.
Shelton-Epps is an English major, and if that’s not a testament to her bravery I don’t know what is. On a serious note, though, Shelton-Epps has encouraged me many times to just do it, to put myself out there and be confident. I remember being completely in love with this boy in high school and showing her a very dramatic and drawn out letter I wrote to him. She read it, blinked and with a serious face said, “Now give it to him.” Honestly, I shouldn’t have been shocked. After all, this was the same girl who would come to school with bold hairstyles and blue suede knee highs for her birthday!
Obviously, high school was a long time ago as Shelton-Epps will be graduating in May. However, talking and catching up with her makes it seem like no time has passed at. That bravery is still there and, to me, is stronger than ever.
After bombarding her with a bunch of questions, which she graciously and kindly answered, I have to say Shelton-Epp’s magic lies within her honesty, bravery, imagination and ability to constantly grow. Shelton-Epps made the decision to go away for school with no family or support system. She was honest with herself enough to know staying home would only encourage complacency. She was insightful enough to recognize her need for an all-female forum in a male dominated space and joined Her Campus at CAU. As we talked about her turning 21, she admitted to being a cheap drunk and to not feeling as old as she is. Which in my book is pretty damn brave, too. Most importantly, she is always willing to share both her triumphs and faults to help uplift the next person.
Finally, I asked Shelton-Epps the most cliché question: what advice would she give to college women. Her advice is what every collegiette should be keeping in the back of her mind. Staying focused, grounded, not letting anyone define you and remembering to breathe through it all is how we can achieve a successful and fruitful college experience. I am impatiently waiting to see how Shelton-Epps is going to change the world. For now, I’m just glad to share how amazing she is.
Don’t take my word for it, check out Braxton’s articles for Her Campus at Clarke Atlanta University!