First-Generation College Student: Alexandra Powell

Alexandra Powell

Born and raised in Queens, New York, Alexandra is a first-generation college student.

“I chose Boston University because of its stellar economics department and the plethora of research opportunities here,” she says. Majoring in economics and minoring in political science as well as business administration and management, Alexandra is interested in a career in public service. In particular, she hopes to find one that allows her to explore the relationship between U.S. financial services and government affairs.

It is fitting, then, that Alexandra served her chapter as vice president of finance and now serves on the allocations board at BU.

Coming from a low-income, single-parent household, Alexandra is passionate about promoting economic mobility to help students like herself break out of poverty.

“With the rising costs of education, students today are facing a loan debt crisis like never before,” she says. “This makes a college education less and less realistic for high school students not only of the lower class but of the middle class as well.”

Although she is a recipient of the Richard D. Cohen scholarship from BU, which is a need- and merit-based award for low-income students with a strong academic record, Alexandra looked to Kappa Delta for another helping hand.

“My mother became unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” she shares. “This scholarship has helped ease the financial stresses that a college education can place on a low-income family like mine. Without this scholarship, making ends meet would have been that much more difficult, if not impossible.”

Receiving a foundation need-based scholarship also allowed Alexandra to prioritize her studies and give more of her time and attention to her KD chapter. “I knew that my sisters would never judge me for my financial situation, but it was nice to not have to think about it as much.”

Before going to BU and joining Kappa Delta, Alexandra feared she would not find a sense of community. She struggled with imposter syndrome because going to an elite private school like BU felt like a completely different world. Joining Kappa Delta, however, provided the support system she never thought possible.

“When I first walked into the recruitment room of Kappa Delta, I felt like I could be myself and not fear judgment,” Alexandra says. “I felt the sisters of Kappa Delta shared my values of academic success and service.

“I knew that my sisters would never judge me for my financial situation, but it was nice to not have to think about it as much.”– ALEXANDRA POWELL

“I was instantly surrounded by confident women who exerted positivity and passion,” she continues. “Not only did I benefit from the sense of community that my chapter evokes, but I quickly learned that my Kappa Delta sisters would motivate me academically and help me be the best version of myself, both in and out of the classroom. My collegiate experience was forever changed by Kappa Delta and in the best way possible. I have gained lifelong and genuine friendships, a support group — both emotionally and academically — and a place I can call home.”

Alexandra also says her KD sisters have helped her learn “how to not be so hard on myself, how to have gratitude, and how to not let myself be defined by my financial hardships or homelife. By becoming a member, I have learned where confidence stems from and what steps I need to take to be a compassionate person toward myself and others.”

Special thanks to Kappa Delta and Melissa Hammer for providing this article. Visit Kappa Delta’s website to learn more about the organization.

Since 2018, Inspired Action has been a column to celebrate KD sisters who have chosen to invest in the future of Kappa Delta with their support of the Kappa Delta Foundation. We are thankful for each sister who has been inspired to give — each for different reasons but each committed to providing opportunities and experiences that build confidence and inspire women to action.

Contributions from alumnae, collegians, and friends make it possible for the foundation to offer scholarships, educational opportunities, internships, leadership training, and support for KD’s national philanthropies and numerous community outreach programs. It’s only fitting that going forward, Inspired Action will be a space to showcase the impact your gifts have inspired.

Emma Austin

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