by Sheryl Marlar

Mentoring young girls to help them bloom into successful adults is close to her heart. Giving back to help others is her passion.

Bresha’ BakerTo most, these two things sound might like a full-time job—but not for Bresha’ Baker, junior political science major at the University of West Georgia. These are just some of the things she does in addition to being a full-time student.

Baker, who is from Atlanta, came to UWG because it was far enough away from home for her to have the college experience but close enough to go home. She was attracted to the diversity at UWG as well.

Going home is important to Baker, not because she’s homesick, but because she has a mentor program there. Engaging Petals serves about 25 young ladies in Atlanta schools.

“I chose to name my mentor group Engaging Petals because young girls, like flowers, need to bloom,” Baker explained. “I had the idea to start it in high school, but didn’t know how to go about it until I came to UWG.”

At UWG, Baker became part of the Girl Power Mentors, led by Tiffany Parsons, lecturer in the sociology department. With Girl Power Mentors, she goes to Villa Rica every week to mentor young girls.

Most of her work with Engaging Petals is during the summer when she has more time. She goes to summer camps every week to meet with and mentor girls.

Even with her mentoring work, Baker finds time to excel academically.

“I do make it to class,” she said.

Baker has been an Ingram Scholar every year since she was a freshman.

“My favorite classes here have been with Dr. Kathie Barrett,” Baker explained. “I love Dr. Barrett. She’s amazing–she’s been my mentor and helped me transition to my business side. She leads me in the right direction for my life.”

In the spring of 2017, Baker took Barrett’s Human Rights Advocacy, a class focused on human rights and how to be active in protecting those rights.

For a class project, Baker chose to raise awareness and provide aid to the people in Liberia.

“They lack infrastructure, and basic food needs there go unmet,” Baker said.

As president of the UWG chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Baker brought in the chapter to assist and partnered with the African Student Association.

“I wanted to make it campus wide,” she explained.

They hosted table events on campus to collect canned good and donations. Together they raised $600.

“$600 in American money converts to even more in Liberia,” Baker added. “In the end, my grade on the project didn’t matter because the outcome was so much better as we were able to help people in Liberia and raise awareness.”

Baker’s concentration is in pre-law because she wants to go to law school. But she wants to get her Master in Public Administration first.

“I plan to get my MPA at UWG,” Baker concluded. “I want to work in the public sector so I can give back. I’m comfortable here, and I know UWG will lead me in the right direction. I have other options, but why would I want to go anywhere else?”

Posted on October 26, 2017