On Monday, March 22, 2021 Shippensburg University held a vigil for the recent events in Atlanta, Georgia where eight people were murdered, six of whom were Asian.

I was able to be part of this monumental event. I spoke of my experiences and shared my story, and how I see it from my eyes as a Korean living in America. I am adopted from South Korea to a Korean mother, White father and older Korean brother who was adopted five years before I was.

I have lived with assumptions and jokes through my years but having the opportunity to share it was such a fulfilling experience. It was a great turn out: students, administration, faculty and staff all came out to listen from speakers and remember the lives that were lost. As a student, it was an event where I hope people learned the reality of being a minority in a not only predominately white university, but country.

Shippensburg has so much to offer and being on scholarship academically and athletically, it enables me to experience what college is all about, while having the chance to help my family pay for my education by continuing to work hard on and off the court. I am so thankful to attend a university where students hold events like the ACT Vigil, it expresses how diversity holds high importance at Shippensburg. I am excited to see more events like this in the future. This is how we learn, grow and come together as a community.

Skyler Walder is a freshman history major and a member of the Women’s Tennis team. She is from Green Pond, New Jersey. 

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