Intercultural Relations

Carlson Ayanlaja

Area(s) of Study

Politics and Economics/Philosophy

Hometown

Chicago

Co-curricular

Gummere Fellowship Program, LFC Office of Admissions Student Ambassador, LFC Concert Band, UMOJA, It's On Us

Why did you choose Lake Forest College?

I chose Lake Forest College because of the community, inclusivity, and financial awareness. As a small liberal arts institution, Lake Forest makes it very accessible for students of all backgrounds to attend and grow as individuals. Furthermore, the institution fosters a tight-knit learning environment where professors are easily accessible inside and outside of the classroom. Lastly, Lake Forest made it extremely affordable for my family to afford my college education.

What do you advocate for?

As a Black male, it is my duty to advocate for causes that are in favor of my community and other underrepresented communities.

Why did you decide to be a First Connection Mentor?

I decided to be a First Connection Program because the program is extremely valuable for incoming students. College is an important four years that allows for individuals to grow professionally, intellectually, and socially. This can be intimidating and it is important to have the proper guidance and mentorship to make the journey easier. I have been involved in the First Connection Program for the past two years and I have seen it from the angle of a mentee and a mentor. Both perspectives are very powerful and First Connection is a program that really ensures the continual growth of Lake Forest College students while they are admitted.

Advice for incoming students

My advice for incoming students is simple and effective: Stay true to yourself. Considering that First Connection is for students from underrepresented backgrounds, it can easy to want to "fit in" with the status-quo. However, this is never the move because being your true authentic self trumps being a copy of someone else.