Alexis Mitchell, sophomore, aspires to be a veterinarian and spends her time balancing homework along with track and field. Mitchell dreams of “making a change” and “giving back to the world,” by any means possible, whether it involves fighting social injustice or being active in the community. All the while, she hopes to prove to those who doubt her that she will not let race dictate success or failure.
TKC: What is your favorite movie?
AM: A Dog’s Purpose. It’s such a heartwarming movie, and seeing life from a dog’s perspective really brought it home for me, especially because I love animals so much.
TKC: What is your favorite class that you are taking right now?
AM: Ceramics II. It’s a class where I can be creative, and I don’t have to worry about being right or wrong. It’s so different compared to my other classes, and I don’t have to stress about tests.
TKC: On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your school-related stress?
AM: An eight probably. I put a lot of pressure on myself.
TKC: What is the best way for you to destress?
AM: Listening to music or drawing. [Running] helps too. It clears my head. And I really love taking care of my house plants, I have quite a few, or sitting outside with the cool breeze. I love looking at the butterflies or hummingbirds if they’re around.
TKC: What is the biggest difference between middle school and now?
AM: The academic aspect. I’m being harder on myself when it comes to grades, and I’m doing my best to get all A’s so I can get into a good college and meet the requirements for getting into veterinary school.
TKC: Why do you aspire to be a veterinarian?
AM: It’s been my dream since I’ve been younger. I’ve always had animals. Currently, I have two dogs, and I love taking care of them. Whenever I’m around animals, it helps with my anxiety and makes me feel comfortable.
TKC: Where do you see yourself in five years?
AM: I see myself being a better person, fighting social injustice, staying active in the community, helping people and giving back to the world.
TKC: What social injustices are you passionate about?
AM: In eighth grade, I did a project on the death penalty, and the results were really heartbreaking. I realized that our justice system is flawed. When George Floyd was killed, the man who killed him only got 22 years in jail. But every time a Black person does something– even if they didn’t kill anyone–they’ll get life-long jail[time] or the death penalty. People can’t even see their relatives because they’ll be in jail until the day they die. I want to change that.
TKC: What are some ways you are currently being active in the community?
AM: I love spending time with people at the nursing home. A lot of times, their families don’t bother to check on them, so I like to make things for them and take care of them.
TKC: What is one thing you want to change about the school system?
AM: I want to advocate for Black students in the school system. Schools should have more colored teachers who look like me, and more teachers to reassure kids that they can succeed in the world. So many teachers have told me that I can’t do well just because I’m a “Black girl.” I want to show kids of color that you can do whatever you want, and no one can make decisions for you.
I also disagree with the way teachers have been dress-coding students. People should be able to wear what they want and express their bodies. Some people get dress-coded because they have larger body parts [than others]. It’s frustrating.
TKC: What is one piece of advice you would give to students?
AM: Follow your passion[s], pursue your dreams and never let anyone convince you that you can’t [achieve] them.