La-Chelle Dickenson ’19 extends herself to help others.
But with support and flexibility from the dance faculty — whom she calls “the most amazing people I’ve ever met” — the recent graduate got the world-class training required for a performance career and a lot more.
Jumping off an assignment in an entrepreneurship class, the Delaware native founded the support network La A.M.I.D. (Association for Minorities in Dance). Now on the road to becoming a nonprofit, La A.M.I.D. is gearing up to offer scholarships for underprivileged dancers.
She also touched the lives of inner-city youth as an intern at TU’s AileyCamp Baltimore, which offers free dance training and personal development programming for middle school-age campers.
A mainstay in TU’s peer mentoring program SAGE (Students Achieve Goals through Education) during her four years, Dickenson even found time to help freshmen find their way, just as others had done for her.
Senior year, the dancer was voted Homecoming Queen for her campus involvement, leadership and achievements. Part of the honor included getting to do a service project with the Priceless Gown Project, collecting donated prom dresses for Baltimore-area girls whose families face financial hardship. TU’s queen even made local TV news.
The juggling act was challenging, but exceptional support made it all possible, says Dickenson, recalling a difficult day when, overwhelmed, she visited dance department professor Susan Kirchner.
“I was in her office just talking to her and crying . . . she listened to me and talked with me. I don’t know if it’s common for faculty to do that, but I feel so blessed to be in that department.”