My first year at NYU consisted of constantly joining clubs and searching for the ones that fit me. Most of the time, I did not know what I was joining. In fact, I just went to say I had gone. But one day a friend from my first-year residence hall told me about the Academic Achievement Program (AAP). I was hesitant to go at first, but I decided to try. And since going to that first event, I’ve never looked back!

The Academic Achievement Program is designed to develop and enhance the academic and leadership potential of Black, Latine, Native American, and Indigenous students in the College of Arts and Science (CAS) as well as the greater NYU community.

The program offers a friendly atmosphere where students can get support, bond as friends, and de-stress from classes and daily life.

Here’s what some students had to say about the program’s events.

Rap Session

Believe it or not, we do not actually rap in Rap Session. I know, I thought that was what it was too!

In actuality, we discuss many different things in an intentional, safe space. Some topics are fun and lighthearted like music. Others are more serious and thought-provoking like talking about what it means to be Latine.

“Rap session makes me feel powerful because I can facilitate conversations that bring every person of color together. I’m able to highlight different groups and talk about things that are important to them. At the same time, other groups are exposed to new information and have an opportunity to learn from others. Additionally, rap session has exposed me to different cultures and customs I didn’t know much about before.”

—Jeanine Toussaint, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development Class of 2025

An example flyer of a RAP session.

“Rap Session was the first extracurricular event I joined at NYU. It brought a sense of comfort and ease that I didn’t always feel in classes. It gives me space to be transparent about my different identities. And I can talk with people who validate my experiences. People of color are underrepresented at NYU, but that doesn’t mean that our experiences shouldn’t be acknowledged.”

—Alia Masud, CAS Class of 2025

An example flyer of a RAP session.

Need some time to relax? Then play some games with AAP at GAMESDAY.

What’s more? The game we play is a surprise! So you won’t know what it is until you arrive.

“GAMESDAY is another space where students of color can come together to relax; kind of shut out all of the adversity and extra obstacles we face. As people of color, I think we work hard because of our identity and how that fits into higher education. This event reminds us we’re allowed to take a break and have fun.”

—Sandy Nova-Mazariegos, CAS Class of 2025

Students at participating at a GAMESDAY event
K.I.N.G.S and Golden Rose

A special event to celebrate students in the Academic Achievement Program.

“AAP has been a home where I’ve felt the most comforted and supported. Not only does the faculty emphasize student involvement but they also provide employment for students to run events. K.I.N.G.S. and Golden Rose galas highlight the men and women of color on campus, giving us a space to showcase and celebrate our achievements. We dress up, take pictures, and make memories with people we don’t often see when navigating campus!”

—Saadiq Spears, Steinhardt Class of 2025

A picture from KINGS 2023
Bailar Para Honrar

The newest AAP event! Bailar Para Honrar celebrates dance and culture.

“It was an opportunity to supersede the box that people put us into as Latine and show one another a little bit of our respective heritages. We may not come from the same countries, but if there was one thing we could agree on, it is the importance of dance. It was amazing to see the Latine student body and its allies come together, bonding over our shared love of the community.”

—Elliot Weinbaum Suárez, CAS Class of 2025

A friend and I at the Bailar Para Honrar event

Just to be clear, these events only illustrate a few great things about AAP. But the only way to really get to know the club is to come to the events!

I’ll be definitely be there. Will you? Check out the AAP Instagram to see more photos and get updates on future events.

Hi! I’m Oneida (oh-ney-da) but most know me as Onei (oh-neh/nay)! I’m a junior Nursing student at Rory Meyers, as well as a part of the LEAD honors program. As an extrovert, I love meeting and connecting with people. On campus, I am an Admissions Ambassador, on the Eboard for LATINOS (Latinos Aspiring to Imagine Nursing Opportunities), and community service chair for AAP (Academic Achievement Program). Originally from Virginia Beach, VA, moving to New York has been such a dream. So, when I’m not studying or working, I like to explore as much as I can and find new favorite spots in the city. P.S I get to see a lot of dogs while doing so 🙂