Why did you choose your major or program? 

I’ve always had a passion for using art in a myriad of ways after watching many commercials and animation growing up. Being a Graphic Design major, it allows me to explore my creativity while making a living and giving back to my community.

What is a fun fact about you that few people know?

I’m a small-time streamer on Twitch and primarily play Final Fantasy XIV Online to a few viewers.

What is your favorite song and why?

My favorite song is “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder. Reminds me of my childhood growing up with my grandmother and cooking in the kitchen with her.

What is your current favorite streaming binge and why?

I don’t have a streaming binge at the moment but I used to watch a lot of war documentaries on Netflix. I find it interesting to see the perspectives of people in history and how it relates to today.

What is your favorite hobby or activity you like to do in your free time?

I like playing and streaming games on Twitch during my free time as well as watch YouTube videos by my favorite creators.

How have your identities (race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender) affected your college experience?

Being Black, gay, and non-binary has been an interesting intersection of explaining who I am, how my lived experiences color my current actions, and what my views are politically. It has been a learning experience for everyone involved.

How do you practice self-care?

I meditate while listening to soft jazz and catch up on my reading to relax after a stressful day or situation.

How are you adjusting to the “new normal” as we’re emerging from this pandemic? Do you have any tips for other students who are going back to college this semester?

I’m adjusting bit by bit. It was hard in the beginning as I never had to isolate from society as a whole. My advice to other college students going back this semester is to take your time with assignments, study hard but also schedule time to relax in between sessions, get help whenever necessary whether it be academically or emotionally, and believe you can succeed.

As a Point BIPOC Scholar, what is your message to other LGBTQ+ BIPOC students?

There are people out there who are willing to help you in a lot of ways… you just have to reach out to them. I know this past year has been hard for us all especially with the pandemic but stay true to your authentic self and things will keep looking up and getting better all the time.

This post’s responses were submitted by Point BIPOC Scholar Ash Swain (They/Them/Theirs).

Ash is currently studying graphic design at Des Moines Area Community College. Read more about the Point BIPOC Scholarship for LGBTQ students program here.

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