Imani Briscoe reflects on the communities that helped her become the woman she is today. 


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Imani with the Orientation 2020 team


Imani as a child in her hometown of Philadelphia

Growing up I lived in a tight-knit family and surrounding neighborhood community. There were always after-school programs and activities which members of the community took charge of, giving the young children, adolescents and teens an opportunity to engage with their peers in a constructive environment. From community clean-ups, to watching traditional African dancers, and free lunches there was never a dull moment in my childhood. I also remember during this time there was a very well-known African proverb that read, “It takes a village to raise a child.” As I grew up I thought that this simply meant that the members of the immediate surrounding community in which I lived had a responsibility to enrich the lives of the youth, impart wisdom to them, and help them grow into stronger leaders of their communities one day. Boy was I wrong.

Throughout life you will engage with many different “communities” that will help to “raise” you. This is to say that the different friends you make, clubs you join, professors you build a rapport with, and each and every person you ever meet has some lesson to impart to you whether it be good or bad. All of the experiences that we go through shape who we become in the end.


Imani with friends in the Chapel of Saint Joseph

As I have advanced through Saint Joseph’s University I have found that this quote resonates with me once again. As I entered into my undergraduate career I was met with mentors, support systems, role models, and so much more. The community that is Saint Joseph’s University has taken me under its wing and is now helping to “raise” me. For the many different administrators, staff and faculty who have come into my life and helped shape me into the woman that I am today, I am forever grateful.

Even though seniors might feel as though they are a deer in the headlights with graduation right around the corner, I know that I have a strong support system here at Saint Joseph’s that is standing behind me no matter what career path I end up pursuing. As I embark on my last year as an undergrad I know that I have only come this far by the grace of God and the community members that have helped to raise me up.





Imani Nia Briscoe is a rising senior at Saint Joseph’s University majoring in Communications with a concentration in Digital Media. The North Philadelphia Native serves as Co-President of the Black Student Union, a university ambassador through Hawk Hosts, and an Orientation Leader. She is currently spending her Fall semester abroad in Southern Africa as she studies nation-building and the decolonization of the mind. Upon graduation she hopes to continue her international travels and either work for Buzzfeed, Vice, or a Non-Governmental Organization. Connect with her her via her website,