Torrell Foree, a first-generation student at Cal State Fullerton, cannot forget how isolated and lost he felt as an undergraduate. He had no clue where his life was going and had begun his life at college without even choosing a major. The only thing he had planned out was a spots career; he could either become a basketball coach or a history teacher.
Forree continued to feel lost until his 2nd year at college when a fellow student caught up with him at Cal State’s Quad to give him his first ray of hope. His friend told him about a group of Black students that gathered on Tuesday evenings, and this is the only motivation he needed. As soon as Forree walked into a room full of men who shared his skin color, he felt a sense of belonging, solace, and connection to his campus. This group was the Alliance for the Preservation of African Consciousness.
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Through this Alliance, Foree began taking up leadership roles for the first time among people he would call friends. He even met his wife in this student organization! Since he had found a place that resonated with his identity, Foree quickly began engaging in sports, music, and even debates. He had friends to study with, and this how he ended up picking sociology, African American studies, and history as his major.
“I found something in this space that wasn’t really about the space at all. It was about community… This community molded me, shaped me into the man I am, and what I’m still becoming. It loved me at times when I didn’t love myself.”
At the end of 2019, Torrell Foree managed to land the position of coordinator for the same Resource Center that helped him get his bearings. With a new set of responsibilities, he is determined to help transform the lives of Black students at Cal State while providing them with the same opportunities he was bestowed with.
In an interview, Foree said that he is going to utilize his position to offer Black students a wide variety of programs, services, and support to help each of them achieve success. He also stated that the center is also connected to many other campus programs that can help build students’ resumes by honing their skills and providing them with counseling services.
More importantly, every Black student at Cal State will be able to call the center their new home.