By Sophie Edwards
When La’Dereka Christian moved from Baton Rouge to Louisiana Tech, she had no idea that her journey would bring her into the leadership positions she holds now.
Today, the senior Finance major serves the Tech Family as Black Student Union (BSU) President, College of Business Ambassador and SGA Senator, and a 2022 Parent Orientation Leader.
“I have a passion for helping people,” Christian said, “which is why I serve in the roles I serve in.” This passion is evident in Christian’s others-oriented leadership style.
“I have to think to myself: how do I leave these organizations better than I found them, but also how do I leave these leaders better than I found them.”
One of the ways the BSU helps members develop leadership skills is through an apprenticeship program, where freshman apply to shadow executive board members. Christian was an apprentice her freshman year, and this opportunity equipped her to pursue leadership within her BSU family and other campus organizations.
“Tech has so many different families,” Christian said. “Find a family that fits you, and that family may open so many other doors for you. That’s what the Black Student Union did for me.”
One way Christian opens doors for younger leaders is through her commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“One of the main things I hear from black students at Tech is that they don’t see black people in leadership,” Christian said. “For me, that means that even if I am not always in leadership, I need to be in the room. My participation shows them that they can do it too.”
When her journey at Tech comes to an end, Christian hopes to continue helping people through a career in social work, using her undergraduate degree in finance to help heal families through financial empowerment.
“After I leave Louisiana Tech, I want my legacy to be that I moved the needle forward, not just in diversity and inclusion but throughout campus,” Christian said. “I want to be one of those leaders who was always a part of actively changing things on campus.”
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