First Year Voices: Tara Long Discusses BLM, Mental Health

Tara standing outside.

Today we feature Human Services major Tara Long from Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington County). She tells us about why she chose her major, involvement with Black Lives Matter and how her freshman year is going. Tara is a part of PROFFAMILY, a newly formed freshmen group focused on inclusion and fun.

Why did you choose your major?

I appreciate how dedicated and motivated professors teaching the classes are. You can tell they are passionate about it. I grew up around teachers and nurses and I could not see myself doing any of that. With human services you are still helping people but in a different field. Especially in the Black community I feel like we need more mental health people, like educators, and making it a norm. Mental health is now not a norm. I feel like it is just a trending topic and I want to change that.

Tara standing outside with a Black Lives Matter mask.

Tell me about your involvement with Black Lives Matter.

It is extremely tiring. I can’t even put it into words. We are not asking or demanding for much. It is just common decency. I have been heavily involved with the petitions. I have not gone to any protests but I have been using social media to my advantage. Sharing stories that have not gotten much attention and reposting other things. With my major I want to be an advocate for mental health for the Black community.

Tara standing outside.

How is your freshman year going?

It is not bad. It is honestly what you make it with COVID. You did not have to come but being on campus gives you the motivation to do your work, and interact as much as you can.

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Story and photography by: Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

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