Tynéa Henry

Tynéa Henry, RTA, Columbia College ‘25

Date Interviewed: August 3, 2023

Introduce yourself!

My name is Tynéa Henry and I am from Eddystone, Pennsylvania. I am a rising junior at Columbia University majoring in American Studies and concentrating in African-American and African Diaspora studies.

What drew you to work at F&C?

I was drawn to F&C mainly for two reasons. Firstly, I found the overall mission of the program inspiring because it seemed to try to ameliorate some of the inequalities inherent in the higher education system through a combination of mentorship and academic exploration. Secondly, being a low-income student myself, I thought this program was precisely something I would have loved to be involved in when I was in high school.

What is your favorite part of the program?

My favorite part of the program is discussion during reading hours. I love being able to hear how everyone is thinking through the texts and what kinds of connections they make.

What is your favorite reading in the program and why?

My favorite reading in the program is “A Talk to Teachers” by James Baldwin. For a very long time, James Baldwin has been one of my favorite authors, and in this piece Baldwin is able to very eloquently explain the experience of students of color and the need to approach education with inclusivity and compassion in mind.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give F&C students?

One piece of advice I would give to F&C students is to never allow spaces like Columbia make you doubt your worth or make you feel embarrassed of who you are. It’s really easy to become intimidated by the grandeur and the history of institutions of higher education, and I know when I was a freshman I would change how I spoke and even be guarded about certain aspects of my culture when I was in class. Ultimately what helped me get out of this mindset was finding community within these walls and realizing that I got here because of who I am and the hard work I put in.

What is one fun fact about you?

One fun fact about me is that I practically grew up playing Playstation and Playstation II games, so I frequently go to classic video game stores. Most recently I’ve managed to play Final Fantasy 7, 8, 9, 10, and 10-2 thanks to these shops.