Eleven Questions with Nywel Cheaye, Cohort 3 Graduate


Delaware College Scholars Cohort 3 graduate Nywel Cheaye is currently a sophomore at Vassar College where she majors in Science, Technology & Society (STS). STS focuses on the political implications that science has on society. Nywel is extremely active on campus as a Student Fellow for Residential Life, the secretary of the African Student Union, a member of the Vassar College Medical Services team and serves on the leadership team for Vassar Christian Fellowship. After graduation, Nywel hopes to become an attorney focused on health law, specifically constitutional and civil rights for patients. She is a graduate of MOT Charter High School.

Q: What was DCS like when you were a part of the program? What were your experiences like?
A: I remember it being extremely intense. I remember doing a lot of work, but the readings were extremely enriching and dealt with current issues facing my community. For me, that was really important. I also remember making amazing memories, building friendships, and spending long nights in the library.

Q: What made you want to come back to DCS and further support the program?
A: I feel that, after I spent my first summer living and learning with DCS, I had become a better student. Being a part of the program helped expand all of my skills and helped me learn how to be away from home. It really expanded who I was as a person and I want to pay that forward.

Q: What’s your favorite part of working for DCS as an advisor?
A: Connecting with the students. I love sharing personal experiences, I love talking about the college process, and I love seeing how the students connect with me. This really is the perfect job for me.

Q: What’s one of the hardest challenges you face as an advisor?
A: Dealing with conflict. It gets difficult at times, but in the end, we always seem to come to a happy medium.

Q: What do students and fellow advisors know you for?
A: Students and advisors probably know me for always being in the corner reading something.

Q: Do you think being a part of the program helped prepare you for an advising experience?
A: Definitely. Being a part of the program taught me a lot of leadership skills I use today; and watching the advisors I had helped me learn a lot and prepare me for being an advisor.

Q: How quickly did you take to your students?  How quickly did they get comfortable with you?
A: I would say very early on. Every night, we would have hall meetings. I implemented this because I wanted to ensure that I established a personal connection with our scholars and that they felt they were able to ask questions and be comfortable with each other.  

Q: What have you learned, through this job and through completing the DCS program, about balancing life and work?
A: I’ve learned how to manage a busy schedule. As advisors, we’re up at 7:00am and usually don’t go to bed until 11:00pm.  I’m learning how to save my energy and balance my work so that I’m always being productive.

Q: Does seeing the impact DCS has on its students push you to continue supporting the program?
A: Absolutely. DCS is doing so many wonderful things for students, and I love the fact that we’re always striving to make sure students are receiving their financial aid and applying to schools they never would have thought about until exposure through this program. I want to be a part of the DCS mission and its success. If I have to come back and be an advisor every year and share my experience with them, then that’s what I’m going to do.  I truly support Delaware students and their efforts to attend amazing colleges.

Q: What short piece of advice would you give to those who want to become an advisor?
Really just relax. Take everything day by day, because if you get caught up in your title, you may feel like you’re supposed to be this parent to them. You’re supposed to be their mentor, their friend, or their older sibling.  It’s okay to form friendships and have fun with the students.

Q: What are your hopes or plans for the future?
A: I want to graduate college, and afterwards, I hope to serve in some way. Hopefully after that, I’ll head off to law school.