For Native American student, Berkeley a chance for ‘something completely new’

UC Berkeley student Lou M. talks about her experience applying to Berkeley as an out-of-state student from Cherokee, North Carolina. (Video by UC Berkeley Student Affairs)

Coming from the small town of Cherokee, North Carolina, undergraduate Lou M. said she was daunted by UC Berkeley’s overwhelming size until she found a community of fellow Native American and indigenous students.

“That was one of the things I had to adapt to,” she said in a video describing her experience at UC Berkeley. “And one of the ways I did that was finding that Native American community I can relate to, like the Indigenous and Native Coalition Recruitment and Retention Center. … I am not doing it alone.”

Leaving Cherokee, which is on the reservation that is home to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, and coming to California for college was a way for Lou M. to “experience something completely new.”

“It was cool to meet different people from all over the world, and be able to hear where they come from,” she added. “(I) get to see where that diversity comes from; I’m part of that too.”