Written By: Katie Null
Between serving as the president of Sister Circle, two-time Student Multicultural Center leadership institute graduate, a Kupita/Transiciones mentor, and an upward bound mentor, Bianca Gant is known as a leader in her community. The senior fashion merchandising student is described as someone who inspires her peers to be resilient and is motivated to succeed and help those around her do the same.
However, it hasn’t always been that way.
Bianca began her Kent State experience at Kupita/Transiciones (K/T), a cultural orientation and mentoring program for newly admitted African American, Latino American, Native American and Multiracial students. She says that she met most of her friends at Kent State through K/T, and the mentoring she’s received there has gone far beyond her freshman year.
“The Student Multicultural Center and the people in it, they’ve definitely made my whole college experience, and I don’t know where I would be without them. They’ve been developing me this whole time” Bianca said. “That’s how I met literally all of my friends, that’s who I go to when I need help with a situation or need to talk through something.”
The people Bianca met at Kent State supported her through hard times and helped her to see her own potential.
"Before college, I was a perfectionist to the point that if I felt like I was not going to be the best at something, I would not do it,” Bianca said. “With that mindset, it left me doing very little and having low confidence. One day, I got to the point where I was sick of stopping myself from doing anything, and I began challenging my fears and anxiety.”
Bianca decided she would get involved with Sister Circle, a group that supports the personal, social, cultural and professional development of women of color at Kent State. Despite being told that it would be a lot of work, she pushed herself and became the Director of Sisterhood for Sister Circle. After a semester in that role, Bianca took on a role even more demanding, but rewarding: the President.
Bianca’s journey as a leader has been impressive, but it hasn’t come without some challenges.
“I still feel fear and anxiety sometimes when I feel like I’m doing big things, but I channeled it as a motivator to keep pushing myself forward” Bianca said. “When I reflect about all of the opportunities, friendships, experiences I have received, I know that this is where I was meant to be.”
Through her leadership experiences and drive, Bianca has been able to take part in both a study abroad program, and an out of state internship in Wisconsin. Her internship with Kohl’s opened the door for Bianca to secure a full-time job after graduation working as a product development coordinator at Kohl’s headquarters in Milwaukee.
“I have accomplished so many things that I would not have believed if you told me freshman year. I was a girl who lacked confidence, but I went on to make the most of my college experience,” Bianca said. “Bigger than that though, I have a better sense of who I am. I know what I stand for and I know what I am against. I learn new things about myself everyday, but my college experiences have helped me see the person I want to be.”
After she graduates this May, Bianca will make the move out to Milwaukee and begin her new career with Kohl’s. She says she’s nervous to begin this new chapter in her life, but excited at the same time.