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A Crossroads At The End Of College: Introducing 'The Howard Project'
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A Crossroads At The End Of College: Introducing 'The Howard Project'

A Crossroads At The End Of College: Introducing 'The Howard Project'

A Crossroads At The End Of College: Introducing 'The Howard Project'
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Howard University students (left to right) Kevin Peterman, Taylor Davis, Leighton Watson and Ariel Alford are the subjects of NPR's Project Howard. They'll be keeping audio diaries as they finish their final semester of college and look toward their futures. i

Howard University students (left to right) Kevin Peterman, Taylor Davis, Leighton Watson and Ariel Alford are the subjects of NPR's Project Howard. They'll be keeping audio diaries as they finish their final semester of college and look toward their futures. Robb Hill for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Robb Hill for NPR
Howard University students (left to right) Kevin Peterman, Taylor Davis, Leighton Watson and Ariel Alford are the subjects of NPR's Project Howard. They'll be keeping audio diaries as they finish their final semester of college and look toward their futures.

Howard University students (left to right) Kevin Peterman, Taylor Davis, Leighton Watson and Ariel Alford are the subjects of NPR's Project Howard. They'll be keeping audio diaries as they finish their final semester of college and look toward their futures.

Robb Hill for NPR

If you know any college seniors, now might be a good time to send them some encouraging words. The class of 2015 can't be blamed if they're feeling a little worried: They're facing one of the most important transitions of their lives.

In a matter of months, they're about to launch from the relatively protected confines of college into the so-called "real world," where they have to find a sense of purpose — not to mention a paycheck. It's not hyperbole to say the decisions they make now will shape the rest of their lives.

NPR's Weekend Edition wanted to tap into the challenges facing our 2015 seniors, as well as their preoccupations. So we're going to follow four people — two men and two women — from Howard University in Washington, D.C., just a couple miles from NPR headquarters.

For a series we're calling "The Howard Project," these four students have agreed to give us a window into the questions they're grappling with as they think about their future. They'll be keeping an audio diary over the next few months — and for their first entries, we've asked them to introduce themselves however they like.

Click the audio link above to hear their introductions, or read on to learn more about Ariel Alford, Taylor Davis, Kevin Peterman and Leighton Watson.

Meet 'The Howard Project' Seniors

  • Taylor Davis

    Taylor Davis, a nursing major at Howard University. i

    Taylor Davis, a nursing major at Howard University. Robb Hill for NPR hide caption

    toggle caption Robb Hill for NPR
    Taylor Davis, a nursing major at Howard University.

    Taylor Davis, a nursing major at Howard University.

    Robb Hill for NPR

    Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

    Field of Study: Nursing

    "I'm a person of faith. I really value my convictions and my connection to God and my connection to people. [And] I ooze passion. I've had other people say that's what they recognize in me."

    Instagram: taylorlaurendavis

  • Leighton Watson

    Leighton Watson, senior at Howard University and President of the Student Association. i

    Leighton Watson, senior at Howard University and President of the Student Association. Robb Hill for NPR hide caption

    toggle caption Robb Hill for NPR
    Leighton Watson, senior at Howard University and President of the Student Association.

    Leighton Watson, senior at Howard University and President of the Student Association.

    Robb Hill for NPR

    Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.

    Field of Study: English

    "I'm someone who is very, very much motivated by legacy. When I see [my grandfather, Alonzo Watson's] history of public service, I want to emulate that, and do that in my own way."

    Instagram: leightonwatson

  • Ariel Alford

    Ariel Alford, senior at Howard University majoring in history and Africana studies with an education minor. i

    Ariel Alford, senior at Howard University majoring in history and Africana studies with an education minor. Robb Hill for NPR hide caption

    toggle caption Robb Hill for NPR
    Ariel Alford, senior at Howard University majoring in history and Africana studies with an education minor.

    Ariel Alford, senior at Howard University majoring in history and Africana studies with an education minor.

    Robb Hill for NPR

    Hometown: Richmond, Va.

    Field of Study: History and Africana Studies

    "How I would describe myself? Passionate, definitely. I would say spiritual, I would say sensual ... And I would say rebellious, honestly. But it's not just being a rebel for the sake of being a rebel. It's definitely informed."

  • Kevin L. Peterman

    Kevin Peterman, senior, at Howard University. i

    Kevin Peterman, senior, at Howard University. Robb Hill for NPR hide caption

    toggle caption Robb Hill for NPR
    Kevin Peterman, senior, at Howard University.

    Kevin Peterman, senior, at Howard University.

    Robb Hill for NPR

    Hometown: Newark, N.J.

    Field of Study: Political Science/Education

    "I think I'm your average 22-year-old undergraduate African-American living in America. I'm doing everything I can to prepare myself to make my impact on the world."

    Twitter: @peterman67

    Instagram: klpeterman

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