Breshaye Spear is an IU senior earning her Bachelor of Science in public affairs with a focus in public management and leadership. She is an advocate for the development and mental health of the youth while serving her community and women around her. Spear has a passion for extending herself and making the world a better place.
“I am big on promoting the overall positive well-being of individuals,” Spear said.
During her time at IU, Spear has delved into a number of organizations. In her past, she was involved in Pinky Promise IU as a social media manager, Mu Beta Lambda Business Fraternity, Inc. as an events coordinator, Chi Alpha Epsilon and Groups Scholars Program as a peer tutor.
Her involvement in these organizations was brought to a halt following her relocation due to COVID-19.
More recently, Spear has been involved in the Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. as the philacter. A philacter is someone who guards the door and announces the alarms, checks credentials or eligibility of sorors arriving to places late, denies entrance to unauthorized persons and assists in maintaining order upon request of the Basileus, the president of the organization.
Spear’s involvement in the Tau Chapter allows her to further the advancement of college students on campus through programming and volunteer work. The sorority has granted her the opportunity to bring together women on campus while promoting solidarity in the midst of their differences. She has gained a sisterhood that encourages her to become better professionally, academically and personally.
“I have a passion for extending myself and serving my community and Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated allows me to do that,” Spear said.
Spear recently founded her own organization where she aids college women who may be dealing with negative mental health issues. In Her Hands IU is an organization that allows Spear to help build positive mental health for college students.
This organization stemmed from knowledge she knew she needed herself, and she wanted to extend resources to women around IU’s campus. Spear said during these unprecedented times, depression and anxiety are higher than they’ve ever been. She wants her organization to serve as a safe space to essentially save a life.
“I am a firm mental health advocate, and I wanted to create a space of vulnerability where women can go to feel comfortable and always leave the room refreshed and renewed,” Spear said. “Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t have that listening ear from a friend or family member, so I wanted this organization to serve as just that.”
Outside of her involvement on campus, Spear is actively involved in her church where she leads a children’s Bible study and is able to make connections with the youth.
She has volunteered at various organizations in Bloomington such as the Boys and Girls Club, My Sister’s Closet and the Banneker Center. She signed up to serve Thanksgiving plates to those in need and is going to participate in the adopt-a-family program through the Salvation Army to supply families in need with Christmas gifts.
Spear said contributing to the development of the Black youth is a very important aspect in her life.
“As we all know, the children are the future. Black youth have a struggle unlike no other, growing up having these stereotypes pressed into their skin, preconstructed roadblocks built into their life path, and every odd stacked against them,” Spear said. “I want to contribute to their advancement, their confidence, their self-worth, their individuality and their knowledge of knowing who they are despite the world’s viewpoint.”
In order to stay strong and inspire others to not let stereotypes hold them back, Spear has a vital piece of advice she abides by in her daily life — never allow the wounds of this world to turn you into someone you were never meant to be.
Spear said we have to realize we are all fighting a silent battle no one knows about and suppressing trauma no one will understand. These battles are meant to build us and not to force us into someone we are not.
“It’s important to understand who you are internally and never let that person go,” Spear said. “Forgive, learn, or choose to forget but no matter what advance yourself, build yourself and never stop moving forward. If you have to cry, cry standing up. Once you sit down, you're no longer the fighter you know you can be.”