Yvonne Pruitt, a junior theater major and peer adviser, alongside her continuous freshman mentor, Brandon Larmore, director of the Academic Resource Center and SHU alum (‘08), have been honored as National Role Models at Minority Access’ 17th Annual Conference.
Pruitt is involved on-campus as a peer adviser and as a director of the Once in a Time of Trolls production earlier this semester in September.
This conference was held in Washington D.C. from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.
According to the SHU website, the Minority Access National Role Models Conference celebrates minorities that make a difference in their field as well as recognize them for their outstanding achievements.
Throughout the conference the attendees visited different embassies and listened to multiple speakers, such as a representative from NASA.
“It was empowering having the chance to be around people who are doing such amazing things,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt was unknowingly nominated for this award by Larmore.
“Brandon asked me to send my resume to him over the summer,” Pruitt said. “A couple months later, I got the email about receiving an award for a national conference. He wanted to be the first person to congratulate me.”
Pruitt said it was fun being able to share this experience with her mentor. He has been by her side as a mentor for the past three years of her college career.
“I don’t do the things I do to be recognized,” Pruitt said. “I want to influence and help others.”
Pruitt said she will continue to act as a role model for others.
She said it’s important to always be mindful of your actions.
“Yvonne is a special person,” Larmore said. “Her dedication to everything she does is inspiring. She always does things to the highest level of her ability. It’s incredible to see such energy and spirit in someone at such a young age, and it’s awesome to have been able to watch her grow from freshman year.”
Larmore said this opportunity helped center him because he was surrounded by such dedicated individuals.
Larmore was nominated as well by Freshmen Studies Dean, Robin Cunningham.
“I don’t believe I’ve done enough, but having someone list my qualities and accomplishments in my young career is humbling,” Larmore said.
Pruitt and Larmore took what they learned and experienced at the conference and strive to continuously pay it forward.
“Use what you learn to better others around you,” Larmore said. “It’s just like graduating college, you continue to further your career after you leave in hopes of getting to that next level. No matter how small the opportunity, stay aware and take advantage of everything.”
Christina McDonald-Vitale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.