Photo courtesy of Rickia Stafford

Leading the Pack: Rickia Stafford Gets the Job Done

Time management is a skill that is difficult for many college students to master. It requires a lot of focus and dedication especially for individuals who are not used to managing their own time. Joining clubs, organizations and/or sports in early education helps students develop a schedule preparing them for attending college. Students who perform in extracurricular activities are more likely to easily adapt to the new college environment taking on courses, internships, jobs and volunteering.

Rickia Stafford is a Political Science major who is working towards attending law school upon graduating from UWG. Before becoming a full-time student here, Rickia was a dual enrollment student in high school for two years. She played softball, basketball and ran track. Not only was she actively involved in school, she was actively involved in her community.

Photo courtesy of Rickia Stafford

Members of her community would say she is a smart, humble and driven young woman. From a young age she has had a general idea of what she wanted to pursue in life. Knowing her purpose gave her the ability and skill set to adapt and overcome stressful and overwhelming situations, preparing her for a tedious profession.

“My plan after UWG is to attend law school and use the degree to focus on policy reform and analysis within juvenile justice,” said Rickia. “My brother is my inspiration for wanting to go into this focus. He has been incarcerated since he was 14 and it has been 11 years since.

“I am a strong believer that our system for juveniles is the way it is because we believe more in punishment and retribution,” continued Rickia. “There are people in power who believe that certain individuals deserve to be in jail and not on the streets just because of particular characteristics.”

Everything that Rickia has experienced has and will be of significant benefit to her. She understands how the system works and will be better suited to actually make changes regardless if it’s big or small.

            “I always say that our system really does not need reforming because it works exactly the way it should,” said Rickia. “We say reform when we speak to people because that’s what resonates.

             “I am trying to undo the harm that has been done to juveniles in the south,” continued Rickia. “Not only juvenile detention and adult prisons, but also in school, the community and through both mental and physical health.”

In addition to focusing on classes that really mattered, Rickia was also required to take courses outside of her major. Like many other students when taking a course outside of their concentration, they dedicate more time to the subject. This is because it is not something they often think about or have to really apply themselves.  

 “The hardest class I have taken so far has been astronomy, believe or not,” said Rickia. “I have never been good at science, and I had to really apply myself to get an A in that class.

“I studied more for astronomy the semester I took it than I did for my actual major classes,” continued Rickia. “It was literally eat, breathe, sleep astronomy.”

Individuals perform their best when they feel their best. Even though Rickia is busy the majority of the time, she tries hard to upkeep her physical and mental health. To maintain structure in her life, Rickia makes sure to get some rest and workout whenever she can. Not only does it translate well in her everyday life but her profession as well.

Studying political science is not really hard, but it is different from other disciplines. It does not allow one to guess or experiment with different things. Instead, it focuses on being an active participant in whatever situation.

“One thing I can say about the political science major that might be different from other majors is the culture in which the professors develop to be inclusive to all ideologies and perspectives,” said Rickia. “Since my time here in 2018, politics has been heavily prevalent, and a lot of things have become political.

“But I can say the majority of the time, no matter how hard the topics were, the students were respectful of each other no matter what,” continued Rickia. “I think that is due to the culture created by the faculty within our department.”

All in all, Rickia manages every area of her life in a well-balanced manner. The fight behind what she is doing is not only for herself or her brother, but it is also other individuals out in the world that may not have role models or figures in their lives to steer them in the right direction.

“I just put forth a lot of effort to get the job done,” said Rickia.



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