I recently had the pleasure of being selected as the student panelist for the BET Rap-It-Up campaign. BET was coming to Orangeburg, South Carolina and wanted me to serve as the student expert at the South Carolina State University. This was panning out to be a phenomenal experience. I was a little apprehensive at first being that I served as the youngest person on the panel. Prior to participating in this discussion panel, my advocacy was focused on hosting events, direct lobbying, and blogging. I knew it was time to take it to the next level and I knew how quickly I had to get ready. The atmosphere was laid back and the audience interacted well with the host and panelists. Each panelist received a question from the host. My question was, "being a student at South Carolina State University, how do we promote positive events like this to have a better turn out?” At this moment I knew it was my time to shine. As mentioned I have been a part of organizing events around sexual health for a number of years. This was the perfect opportunity to increase awareness for future events. I responded that I was amazed that students would rather spend money to "turn up (a term of Millennials for ‘party’)" than come to a free event about the "rap up.” The students that did attend gained insight on contraceptive methods and the rates of HIV/AIDS in the Orangeburg area. I truly enjoyed my experience as a panelist and hope that events similar to this one will be held in the future.
Darian is currently a student at South Carolina State University. She is actively involved with the Tell Them Ambassador Program and promoting sexual and reproductive health awareness in her community.