The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Trayzell White
Mentor with Davitto Leadership Academy (DLA) and HAWK institute, Trayzell White, is a business management and ethnic studies major who has been a student leader at City College. Photo by Sara Nevis | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

by Juan Salcedo | Guest Writer

Trayzell White is about to be handed a microphone at a Student Development meeting for students, hosted this spring on the City College campus. While people stand around drinking hot chocolate, the question is asked: “What can the school do to help the students?”

Upon being handed the mic, White explains his own experience as a person of color. He tells how within the system of the campus, there are prejudices shown toward black students that should be prevented. He explains how racial profiling can be unfair and hurtful to innocent students.

In addition to being a leader of change and a City College student, White, 20, does his fair share of his special type of social work among youth. He works as a mentor for Davitto Leadership Academy, for leaders of social justice, and the HAWK Institute, a local volunteer group for people of color who empower the community. White was also part of a local summit for minority students in Sacramento. He explained his frustration with the low attendance, and how there’s a strong need for minority youth to talk about their problems to overcome them. He says he talks to everyone he can and sends positive energy to those who need it.

“People just need people to talk to them,” White says. “If I could teach something to someone in five minutes that took me five years—that is amazing—so, they don’t have to go through what I did.”

As a person that realizes the strength of words, White does his best to offer his perspective so that no one has to go through similar hardships. He wants to open minds.

White has been going to City College for about a year now, pursuing a major in business management. Yet there’s no denying his role as an activist in his community.

“This is just like my life work,” White says. “This is my view on life, and my philosophy that developed from that. My environment showed me a lot, and it showed me how important it is to be there for people.”

This semester, White traveled to Southern California with a handful of City College students. The students were hand-picked by college leaders to participate in a conference to help create positive academic environments for African American men.

At home, in class or outside the classroom, White is always trying to express his truth through words and through being himself. He is a happy guy who laughs loudly. He values the importance of loving yourself and of having confidence.

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White stresses that feeling happy and confident wasn’t always a part of him. Even growing up as a twin, he felt alone. He says he didn’t always have the perspective he has now. He had to deal with hardship to be where he’s at today.

“Through that pain, we see,” White says. “It’s only an ‘L’ (a loss) if you don’t learn from it. We meet people from many walks of life, and we have to appreciate that. You can’t be mad all of the time.”

As a twin, White values strong connections, as well as communication.

“He’s always motivated and trying to be in a good mood,” says twin brother Trayson White. “He really believes in, you get what you put out.”

White is aware of this: trying to better himself with how he thinks. The most important thing he says is to have authenticity.

“Truthfully it’s all about being happy,” he says. “We don’t have any repeats in this life. You really do only live once, so if there’s something you want to do, really go do it. Because tomorrow is not promised at all. You could be in jail or you could be dead tomorrow, just like that.”

Have a question for White? He probably has an answer or will at least help you discover your own answer. White’s confidence is unmatched.

“I’ve had a few jobs already with a few programs, and I never have even had an interview,” he says. “I really think it’s because I come at them honestly.”

The whole point is about being happy.

“He’s just different, and that’s what he’s trying to be,” says Savion White, his cousin. “He gets that anything is possible.”

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