FOSSI | Keeping up With 2021 FOSSI Scholar, Tabia Lee

Keeping up With 2021 FOSSI Scholar, Tabia Lee

February 23, 2023

FOSSI: Could you share a few highlights about your first few semesters at Howard University? 

The first semesters of college were a little challenging because I am an only child and was home sick. This is where my resiliency and me recognizing my power as a black woman came into play. I had to activate my inner strength and know that I’m walking in my purpose and my ancestors have my back.  As the semesters went on, I realized that I am extremely resilient and powerful.

FOSSI: How has the FOSSI Scholarship impacted your experience at Howard University?

My Freshman year of high school, I went on an HBCU College Tour with my Youth Council. On the last stop of the tour, I instantly knew I was destined to attend Howard University. FOSSI helped make my dream a reality. Growing up in a predominantly white town, I felt a void inside and wanted to connect with my roots. I knew an HBCU was just what I needed. The FOSSI scholarship lessened the financial burden but more importantly, opened doors to rooms I would, otherwise, not have access to. As a rising Sophomore, I had the opportunity to intern at Merck. That experience was invaluable. There, I met upper management and even took part in developing a diversity plan centered around HBCUs. I am honored to have been selected for this scholarship. I will continue to network and use all the resources FOSSI offers.

FOSSI: What extracurricular activities are you enjoying on campus?

On campus, I am involved in many organizations that advocate for the voiceless. I am one of the Founder Members of Voice of Creativity Acceptance & Love (VOCAL). VOCAL involves art as a form of healing for students affected by sexual violence. I also serve as Chair of Membership and Secretary for the NAACP Howard University Chapter. Under my leadership, we have increased membership by 100%. I am a Chapel Assistant, which is centered around faith, service and justice. Chapel Assistants are known for being campus leaders and after graduation become impactful leaders in society. The skills learned through FOSSI have helped me become a stronger leader.

FOSSI: Tell us about your experience at your internship with a FOSSI sponsor company.

This past summer, I completed my internship with Merck at the West Point site. My internship was impactful. I was not only the youngest intern that location has ever had, I represented the best HBCU, which was historical within itself (HU! YOU KNOW!). I not only learned about the pharmaceutical industry, I also connected with great minds.

One of my highlights of my internship was a conversation that dawned on me that I’m a trailblazer. Per a conversation I had with a Merck employee, he has been yearning for the company to employ HBCU underclassmen for the summer. #blackgirlmagic

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