By Yari “Aeslene” Mena, Staff Writer

From a young age, Morgan “Espríe” Gaines loved science and knew she wanted to become a neurosurgeon.

“I’m going to be a brain doctor so I can fix the bad thoughts people have,” Gaines told her grandmother when she was young.

Now Gaines is working hard to keep her word. She is currently a neuroscience major at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Although Gaines came from an African American family, she was raised by a Korean nanny who took a major role in Gaines’ upbringing.  Gaines describes the household she grew up in as multicultural, as she was culturally heavily influenced by her nanny. Gaines also went to high school in Korea. These factors contributed to her strong interest in issues faced by the African American community as well as issues faced by Asians and immigrants in America. This in turn would contribute to her interest in becoming a sister of Delta Phi Lambda.

Gaines joined the Gamma Chapter in Spring 2016.  She was an active member of her chapter and contributed to its development. However, in Spring 2017, Gaines made the difficult decision to take a break from chapter activities.

“I took a semester off from sorority and focused a lot on school and also was able to reevaluate my goals, dreams, and even the idea of sisterhood in general,” said Gaines. “My time away made me realize how college doesn’t last forever and the time we have together is precious and shouldn’t be wasted harboring negative feelings over trivial things. Coming back to the sorority, I was excited. I had a new perspective on life, school, and relationships.”

When Gaines returned in Fall 2017, she was ready for action. She joined her chapter’s executive board as affiliate member educator and creative director, and was on the university’s Multicultural Greek Council executive board as secretary and vice president.

“Morgan is very persuasive and she’s on her way to becoming someone who can really get a message across,” said Courtney “Seraphina” Escorza, president of Gamma Chapter. “Another admirable thing about about her is her ability to bounce back really quickly.”

Escorza was impressed with Gaines’s maturity and decision to step down from her sorority activities in order to improve her grades and focus on her internship, but was even more impressed when Gaines returned, ready to step up, and take on bigger responsibilities.

When Gaines reflected on the one word that described her journey as a sister best, she chose “crazy.” However, she added that she has become confident in all aspects of her life through the support of her sisters.

“The power of self and empowerment of others. Never sacrifice, your dreams, goals or passions for anything. If anyone or anything ever deters you or tries to hold you back then it is really not worth your time and to always empower one of another,” said Gaines, when asked about the most important thing she learned from the sorority. “As women of color, breaking many stereotypes and gender roles is not always easy in the real world, but it’s great to know that your sisters are always rooting for you. So root for someone!”

Featured Image: Special to The Jade Times