Will Rice College senior and Friendswood, Texas, native Derek Brown admitted to being a bit of a wallflower when he came to Rice. However, his experience at Rice – including his involvement with the Young Owls Leadership Program (YOLP) – has helped him to “slowly but surely step off away from that wall.”
“The journey that I’ve had here and this experience have allowed me to … feel comfortable in the community that I have lived in,” Brown said.
Modeled after O-Week and led by Rice students, YOLP teaches and educates underserved students about the college application process and helps develop students as potential leaders. The program piqued Brown’s interest during his freshman year and he said it “forever changed the direction” of his life and career goals, including inspiring him to change his major from engineering/pre-med to psychology.
“I’ve never looked back,” he said.
Brown’s ultimate goal is to use his psychology degree to impact society as he has through YOLP.