Rashaun J. Allen, '09: A Walk Through Brooklyn

Stellar EOP Alum, Rashaun Allen gives personal insight into his hometown through a collection of his personal poetry.

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York and during his senior year in high school Rashaun Allen was given the opportunity to go away for school to SUNY Albany. In his words, "...my UA experience has been a blessing. I had the privilege of being apart of the Educational Opportunity Program. As an EOP student, Dr. Carr, Ms. Maritza Martinez, Ms. Tyshena Hunter, Dr. Christopher Fernando and countless others have been strong support system. They made sure I began my journey on campus as a scholar and walked away as a college graduate. I was also fortunate to win the Clyde Frazier scholarship distributed by EOP which helped me study abroad to the University of KwaZulu- Natal, in South Africa for six weeks, the summer following my freshman year."

Published in 2009, A Walk Through Brooklyn gives the reader an insight into New York City through the perspective of a young Rashaun Allen growing up in Brooklyn, NY. Allen uses poetry as his main instrument of communication.

 

Published in 2009, A Walk Through Brooklyn gives the reader an insight into New York City through the perspective of a young Rashaun Allen growing up in Brooklyn, NY. Allen uses poetry as his main instrument of communication.

During the 2008-2009 school year Allen was featured on UAlbany's Year in Review for his academic achievement and extensive involvement with Residential Life and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He worked for Residential Life from his sophomore year until he graduated. To sum up the experience Allen stated, "I would have to say it was an opportunity to not only become a young professional, but to grow from taking an idea to fruition as a program. In the summer of his Sophomore and Junior year, Rashaun took part in INROADS, a not for profit organization dedicated to the training and development of talented minority youth for professional careers in business and industry. As a part of INROADS, he interned with Standard and Poor’s to actually work on Wall Street.

In his Junior year, Allen entered the School of Business as a Business Administration major with a concentration in Finance/Management while keeping English as a second concentration. As a student in the School of Business, Rashaun received the Martha Bealler Altman Scholarship for 2008-2009 school year. In the midst of his final semester at SUNY Albany, Allen became a brother of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, a Greek-lettered fraternity founded on the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service. Rashaun recalls that one of his fondest memories was, "putting together our national initiative 'Sleep Out For The Homeless' where we along with many other student organizations slept outside on Collin Circle for one night to raise awareness about homelessness in the capital district."

After graduation, Allen self-published his very own book called A Walk Through Brooklyn, a collection of 19 personal poems that tells painful, heart-breaking and uplifting tales that touch on topics including growing up in a fatherless home, triumph and intimacy. "More important than what I was able to accomplish as a student at SUNY Albany were the friendships I made", says Allen. "From breaking nights studying for midterms, learning how to swim together, being tutored by peers, mentoring high school students, planning events and socializing...these are all memories I will cherish forever.