Adonis Logan was heading into the final stretch of his sophomore year at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky when the Coronavirus situation developed. The college closed its physical campus and sent students home on March 15 leaving all remaining classes for the semester to be delivered online. Adonis returned to Boston to be with his family and soon afterward, we were able to catch up with him for another edition of alumni highlights.
Adonis, tell me what it has been like attending college in rural Kentucky! I imagine it is so different from your life in Boston.
It was definitely a culture shock. I had this image of a place with a lot of cows and horses, which there are, but I did not expect such large social differences. I quickly realized how diverse Boston is when compared with this region of the United States.
How has this impacted you?
I started to realize my own biases. For example, I expected all black college students to act a certain way. I thought they would all have similar interests and music tastes. What I learned is that being black and coming from Boston is different from being black and coming from Ohio or Kansas. It took me awhile to adjust to this and now I am just running with it.
What do you mean you are running with it?
Well, I mean I am adjusting to my new life and friends in Kentucky as well doing things that make me happy. One thing I did was starting to DJ during my freshman year. I wanted to use music to share Caribbean culture in a place where most people do not know anything about it.
That sounds interesting. Tell me more about DJing.
Fraternity life is the center of the social scene at Centre College. A group of my friends and I got together to create an alternative to fraternity life. We call ourselves ‘A Group of Randoms’ or AGR. Our goals are to provide a safe place, host non-alcoholic parties, ensure Title IX guidelines are upheld and, most importantly, diversify the music on campus! We have hosted five parties so far. Our first one had 450 people. Since then we average about 400 people. We have also done sorority events.
How do you attract so many people to your events?
We use social media, word of mouth and banners around campus. Even faculty have been supportive. I was a DJ for a cocktail dinner for the Centre College administration. It was an event for current and potential faculty.
In addition to the great organization you have started, you are a part of POSSE. How is that going?
It has been amazing. There are nine of us and we meet weekly. Being a part of this program has helped with the cultural shock of going to school so far from home. POSSE has surrounded me with driven, focused people who can relate to my experience. It has been an invaluable resource and a huge part of my college success. Everyone in my group is a leader in their own way.
Can you tell me ways this group has supported you in college?
In general, the group has been good for my mental health just being so far away from home and having that extra support. Specifically, there was a time the group took me to Louisville for my birthday. That is nearly two hours away. We went to a Jamaican restaurant. Being Jamaican, I took one bite of chicken and I started crying! I had not had that type of food for months! It made me feel so good to have Jamaican food again.
What else is going well?
I was honored to be chosen as Freshman of the Year at Centre College last year.
Well, congratulations! I am not surprised to hear that. Have you chosen a major?
I am doing Environmental Studies with a focus on sustainability. Being in Kentucky, which is such a different physical and economic environment than Boston, has taught me a lot. I have a new perspective on the field of environmental studies. I think rural poverty is overlooked in terms of environmental justice.
Do you have an idea of the career that lies ahead for you?
Right now, I am open to a variety of careers. I could envision working for the State Department implementing environmental initiatives or working at an environmentally sustainable business.
Last summer you were doing an internship with Mass Audubon. How did that go?
I had an amazing experience there. I worked in the environmental education department and had the opportunity to do a variety of projects. One of them was using GIS maps to determine the demographics of who was visiting certain Mass Audubon properties. We used that data to figure out ways to tap into new audiences who are not currently accessing different sites across Massachusetts.
Did anything surprise you interning at Mass Audubon?
I got to travel throughout all of Massachusetts. Previously, Worcester was the furthest west I went in the state. When I got into Western Mass, I was surprised to learn that it looks and feels a lot like Kentucky!
Have you decided what you will do this summer?
I was planning on returning to Mass Audubon but unfortunately it was cancelled. I am currently looking for internships. I was going to be in the advocacy or science department. I am interested in shadowing an Audubon lobbyist to see how you can try to convince people to do things to help the environment.
I always like to end interviews by asking alumni to travel back in time and think about their Experiential Travel Program experience. What has stuck with you three years after your trip?
When I went to India, it forced me to step out of my comfort zone. That experience helped me transition to a place like Centre College. Kentucky was definitely out of my comfort zone coming out of high school. If I had not gone to India, I don’t know if I would have considered going to Kentucky for college. I learned that when you go beyond your comfort zone, you learn so much more than you would have otherwise, and it helps me to be less fearful of traveling to new places.
Do you plan to continue traveling internationally?
After my India experience, it definitely made me want to travel more. I feel like traveling to India in high school gave me a head start. I am less scared to travel and more hungry to do it again.
What countries are in your near future?
I am looking at Gambia and Mexico in 2021 as part of study abroad at my college.
Any final words of advice to current Club members?
Take every chance you get, especially if it is traveling abroad. I have met people in college that do not even have passports!
In addition to being an amazing person, Adonis is a two-time Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston Scholarship winner. If you are a BGCB teen or alumni planning on attending college this fall , the application link is here.