Student Spotlight: Davila Jackley
Sept. 5, 2019
Davila Jackley, this year’s Student Government President for the Community College of Rhode Island Liston Campus, never needed much of a push to get involved in activities outside the classroom.
As a high school student at the Academy for Career Exploration in her hometown of Providence, RI, Jackley became drawn to student outreach while watching classmates participate in bake sales and fundraisers.
The cordial, 19-year-old eventually joined her high school’s student council and has continued to serve the student body ever since. Now she’s prepared to lead in a much greater capacity as the Liston Campus President, beginning what she refers to as a “rollercoaster” year with countless charitable endeavors and responsibilities on her calendar.
“The journey is worth it,” she said.
Her focus at the Liston Campus is student retention. As someone who has taken advantage of CCRI’s resources, Jackley is confident fellow classmates will be encouraged to continue their education if the college promotes its most valuable assets – clubs, scholarships, transfer opportunities, internships and career opportunities, or anything students might not realize is there for their benefit.
“I want our students to know there is so much to look forward to when they come back to school,” Jackley said. “CCRI is a great place to be and we need to let them know why it’s a great place.
“Students don’t always take the time to explore what’s offered at campus. If we do a better job of promoting that, I really think the students would take advantage of what we have.”
Connecting and networking is a top priority for Jackley, which is why she enrolled in the College Leadership Rhode Island (CLRI) program, a year-long workshop for a group of up to 75 students designed to teach important leadership skills to prepare them for life beyond the classroom. CLRI is a nine-week commitment with classes each Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., so Jackley is balancing her time wisely. Her schedule also includes her part-time job as a counselor at the Boys & Girls Club’s Southside Clubhouse in Providence.
The pace is hectic, but the networking opportunities will help her develop stronger connections in her role as Liston Campus President. She has become more active within the CCRI community since enrolling last year and continues to be a vocal presence at various on-campus events, including the college’s third-annual Raising Opportunities benefit this past summer. The opportunity to interact and speak with donors, faculty and staff has helped her sharpen the soft skills she feels will help her this year in her effort to gauge the pulse of the Liston student body.
“I want to know what drives them and what pushes them beyond the classroom,” she said. “If we can get a better idea of what resources they’d like to have on campus, or what type of clubs or events they’d like to see, they’ll be more likely to come back.”
Jackley’s long-term goal is to transfer to a four-year college after earning her associate degree at CCRI and pursue a career in public service. Time management is an important asset, and it’s admittedly been the most difficult phase of adjusting to life as a Student Government President, but walking into the Atrium of the Liston Campus each day for class inspires her to continue to push for a more unified, interactive student body.
“I joined Student Government as a way to get involved, because I noticed during my first year on campus there wasn’t a lot of student involvement,” she said. “I felt I needed to take that initiative, join Student Government and show the students there are ways to get involved in addition to everything else we have to offer on campus.”
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