Humans of IDPSpring 2019

Humans of IDP #27: Maya Samuel ’19 and Kellie Ochs ’19, Race

Our next pair for Humans of IDP are Maya Samuel ’19 and Kellie Ochs ’19.

These two co-facilitate a dialogue about Race.

Here’s what they have to say about IDP and each other.

Why IDP?

Maya: No matter who, where, or what I am around, I find myself leaning on my the skills I gained during IDP. It is so important to try to understand others, to afford them empathy, and engage with them with respect. These are all things I learned how to do as both a student and facilitator in IDP. I am so grateful to be a part of a program that helped me find people who share the same passion for the world like the ones I have met through IDP.

Kellie: As I look back on my four years at Cornell, I am able to say that IDP has been the most transformative and impactful experience of my college career. IDP is a community of passionate, supportive, and intelligent individuals that are willing to put in the work to address issues of inequity and campus climate. IDP has given me the opportunity to examine my own identities and has radically changed the way I communicate and build relationships with others. I can honestly say this program, its people, and its mission will stay with me for the rest of my life.

What is your favorite thing about your co-facilitator?

Maya: Kel is one of those people you instantly feel at ease around. She doesn’t realize how charming her quirky humor is. It makes me so happy that through this semester we have developed an incredible friendship. Kel is one of the few people that can check me productively, she challenges me to be a better person, to stop making assumptions about others and builds me up any chance she gets. My favorite thing about Kel is that we laugh can about everything and nothing until it literally hurts. I am so thankful to IDP for giving me one more person that will make saying goodbye to Cornell this spring so hard.

Kellie: Maya is the epitome of human sunshine. Her energy is infectious, and a mere five minutes with her is enough to improve my entire day and attitude towards life. On top of exuding positivity, kindness, and love, Maya is also an incredible facilitator. The way she is able to make everyone’s contributions feel valuable is perfectly balanced by her willingness to challenge everyone, myself included, to think more critically and introspectively. Additionally, watching Maya advocate for herself day in and day out, whether it be in her job search or in her relationships, has been nothing short of inspiring, and one of the most valuable life lessons anyone has given me. Every second I get to spend with this powerful, fiercely intelligent, and overwhelmingly compassionate woman is an absolute privilege.