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I am Smith

Raven Fowlkes Witten ’17

Raven Fowlkes Witten

Baltimore, Maryland
Psychology major; English language and literature minor


I attended a large college preparatory school where I wasn’t encouraged to raise my hand in class, or if I did, I was rarely called on. So finding a college where women were encouraged to speak out and be leaders was a priority. When I attended Smith’s creative writing summer program the summer of my junior year, I knew I had found what I was looking for! The whole environment here is geared toward creating a safe space for students to speak out and try new things. The open curriculum allows me to concentrate on creative writing as a minor. And because psychology is a broad field, I’ve been able to incorporate into my study many different areas of the curriculum: culture, anthropology, behavioral science and neuroscience.

“I’m not sure what the future holds, but at Smith, I’m pursuing everything I ever dreamed of and more.”

If I were to describe Smith to a prospective student, I’d tell her that what happens outside the classroom is just as enlightening as what happens inside. My activist work with the Green Team and Divest Smith, for example, is an important piece of my experience here. Also, I’m part of Smith’s spoken word poetry team, Spitfire; we write poetry together, workshop what we’ve written and hold open mic sessions. We are like family to each other. 

As a multiracial person, I haven’t always felt comfortable in my own skin. The Bridge orientation program helped me find a community of students here with similar experiences. It’s a great support. I’m not sure what the future holds, but what I do know is that at Smith, I’m pursuing everything I ever dreamed of and more.