2018-2019 Underserved Scholarship Awardee
Presceia Olivia Cooper
Organizational Psychology, MA
“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.”
— E. B. White
Presceia is a Boston native who has served the majority of her career in nonprofit and mission driven organizations due to her passion for social justice and social change. This interest emerged while she was enrolled in the Massachusetts’ Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), a program that busses predominantly inner-city students of color to suburban school districts for greater access to education. Going through this experience, from grades 2-12 as a member of a marginalized group, has fostered Presceia’s deep commitment to advancing equity in all aspects of her work.
Presceia earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College in 2008. She has served in a leadership role for the NAACP Boston College Chapter and, in recent years, has led diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts at local organizations to ensure that there were systems and structures in place that allowed women and people of color to thrive. Supporting and leading DEI programs has been the cornerstone of her career and an area in which she wants to continue to grow and have an impact. Currently, Presceia works at Panorama Education in Boston.
When asked to reflect on the importance of being selected for a Serving the Underserved Scholarship, Presceia remarked,
“It means the world to me to have received the Serving the Underserved Scholarship as a Master of Organizational Psychology student. I am driven by a desire and responsibility to leverage my skills to dismantle systems of oppressions that limit women and people of color in the workplace. By receiving this scholarship, I am being granted a tremendous opportunity to further my education and deepen my practice so that I can be more effective as a change agent and leader of talent management.”
During her tenure at WJC, Presceia plans to fully immerse herself in her graduate school experience, take advantage of everything the College has to offer, and apply what she is learning to her day-to-day work. With regards to her long-term professional goals, Presceia wants to be a talent management and a diversity leader. She stated, “I’ve always loved working with people and finding ways to unlock potential in others. My graduate degree will allow me to be more impactful in this work, and provide me the foundational knowledge to lead change management efforts at an organizational and systems level. This will strengthen my leadership skills as well as my ability to properly diagnose challenges and design appropriate interventions.”