CY.jpg Hello! My name is Camille Youngblood and I'm a senior majoring in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought. Born in Inglewood, California but raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I attended a small college preparatory school. In high school, I participated in a variety of activities including Student Government, Varsity Field Hockey and Track & Field, National Spanish Honors Society, and Global Youth Leadership Institute. Coming from a school with a wealth of opportunities, a strong academic curriculum, and the best field hockey team in the state, one can only imagine how psyched I was to apply to Amherst College. The small class sizes allow me to foster genuine relationships with professors who are invested in the students, the Varsity Field Hockey Team is my extended family and provides a wonderful support system on and off the field, and standing on Memorial Hill overlooking the breathtaking fall foliage of western Massachusetts, I know Amherst is the perfect place for me.

It’s here in Amherst where I’ve met some of my best friends, made some of my fondest memories, and learned some important life lessons. In addition to my studies, I am a member of the Varsity Field Hockey Team, Black Student Union, Amherst Christian Fellowship and the Office of Admissions as a Telementor. I also volunteer as a barista at the Freedom Café, a local donations-based anti-human trafficking coffee shop (if you’re ever in town stop by for a pumpkin spice latte!).

As I reminisce on the past 5 semesters at Amherst College and 1 semester studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, I cannot imagine a better place for me. After graduation, I look forward to what the future holds. Amherst has given me the experience of a lifetime and I couldn’t imagine who or where I’d be if not for the ‘Herst.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to contact me via email at I look forward to hearing from you soon. Ciao!

Home Sweet Home

During one of my classes today we discussed the difference between a house and a home. Ultimately, we decided that a house is just a structure, while home is where the heart is. That got me thinking, where’s my home? I was born in California, grew up in the Midwest, and will be working in New York after graduation. Yes, I realize I’ve slowly but surely been making my way over to the East Coast, but between the ostensibly infinite moves in between, I never really felt any one place was my home. I guess you could say the world is my home, as excruciatingly cliché as that sounds. Yet, I did find a subtle overarching theme that connected all the places I consider home: water.

Yes, all of my houses/homes have had running water, but I’m talking about great bodies of water. Whether I’m near the Pacific Beach in California, Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, or the Atlantic Ocean in New York, I’ve always found myself near a large body of water. Between the sound of the waves and the seemingly endless horizon, I always find myself at peace. So I decided to write about the place at Amherst that brings me peace: my dorm room.


Having visited many colleges across the nation and abroad, believe me when I say Amherst College has the prettiest dorms in the world! Honestly, I wake up thankful every morning for a dorm that’s cleaned daily, a spacious room, a comfortable mattress, aesthetically pleasing furniture, and toilet paper (yes, I’ve been to a college that unfortunately didn’t have toilet paper in the dorms…I don’t even know if that’s legal…but I digress). Dorm life is the usual housing situation for nearly all students during their four years at Amherst College. Aside from your first year when you’re assigned a dorm, you get to decide where and with whom you will live the following year. This is known as Room Draw and is simultaneously the most stressful and exciting event in April (aside from when seniors turn in their theses).

Dorm2.JPG My first year I lived in James Dormitory. Shout out to all the #JF3 (James 3rd Floor) residents in the world! The following year one of my teammates and I applied to one of the themed houses. Amherst has 10 themed houses centered on either language or culture ( We lived in the Spanish/French themed house our sophomore year, aka Newport House. I loved Newport! It used to be a fraternity house when the college still had those and they transformed the library into a dorm room when they made renovations. The cool thing about that was three out of four of my walls were dark wooden bookshelves so I turned my room into a huge walk-in closet. Furthermore, we had a Spanish-only rule in the house and it really enhanced my Spanish speaking skills before I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. During the first half of my junior year I lived in Weiland Dormitory. Weiland, and its twin King, are two of the newest dorms on campus. They overlook the soccer fields and the western valley mountain range, which makes for beautiful Instagram pictures. Finally, this year I’m living in Hitchcock. Hitchcock is one of three dorms known as “The Triangle.” Not surprisingly, it’s situated in a triangle formation alongside Seeley and Mayo-Smith. Can you guess what the theme of my room is this year? Yep, nautical. Check it out! I love decorating so if you have questions about how to decorate your room on a budget or where to find great deals or even what to bring to college, feel free to contact me.

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Amherst LEADS

One of the most rewarding aspects of Amherst College is the relationships you build. It begins the very first day when you meet your roommate for the first time. Then you branch out and get to know the people on your floor, in your dorm, in your year, and finally in all the class years. Soon enough you’re walking around recognizing nearly all the faces you see. Slowly but surely the world-renowned professors become advisors and life-long friends; the staff at Frost Café or Grab ‘N Go check-in on you whenever you stop by; your coaches and trainers become your life mentors or, if you’re like me, family.


Relationship building is one of the key components of the Amherst LEADS Program. Amherst LEADS is a “leadership development program that provides a comprehensive and educational view of leadership that can be used both during and after a student-athlete’s experience at Amherst.” Beginning with the First Year Initiative followed by the Futures Program and finally the Captains’ Symposium, varsity student-athletes complete a series of interactive workshops and attend a monthly speaker series that shape them into leaders on and off the field.

During my time with the Amherst LEADS program, I had the opportunity to hear from an Olympic Gold Medalist, a Hall of Fame Coach, and a former US Army Ranger who now consults for an elite leadership training organization (just to name a few). Although I’ve since graduated from the program, my coach invited me to an event with professional basketball player Chinenye “Chiney” Ogwumike, followed by a First Year Initiative session where Chiney presented. When I first met Chiney, aside from her 6’3” frame, I noticed how welcoming she was. With a huge smile on her face she introduced herself to the 8-10 people sitting at the breakfast table. The next two hours were filled with chatter, laughs, stories, and (of course) food. I learned that she is one of only two pairs of siblings to both be the #1 draft picks in their respective sports (the Mannings are the other pair of siblings). At just 23 years old, Chiney has graduated from Stanford University as an International Relations major, played in three Final Fours, holds the record for most rebounds in the history of Stanford Women’s Basketball and the Pac-12 Conference, was the #1 Draft pick, and now plays professionally for the Connecticut Sun. No big deal (#sarcasm).


However, it was Chiney’s presentation that really impressed me. Here was this young woman who had clearly reached the upper echelon of the “Accomplishment Spectrum,” yet she was one of the smartest, most well-spoken, and personable individuals I had ever met. Chiney spent the next half hour or so talking about her journey to the Connecticut Sun, including the ups and downs, good and ugly. As Chiney stood in front of the first year varsity student-athletes all I could think was how lucky I was and am to attend Amherst College. I reminisced about lessons of leadership, teamwork, commitment, and dedication that I learned as a varsity student-athlete. While I can’t speak for other colleges, I can honestly say that Amherst College is special. Here they teach you what it means to be a leader, on and off the field, in and out of the classroom, before and after graduation.


If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me!

Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, Amherst Athletics staff and Amherst athletes participated in several community events. I, along with Mr. Billy McBride (Assistant Director of Athletics), Mr. Adam Banks (Football Coach), and Jayde Dawson (basketball player) travelled to Wildwood Elementary School to read books by African-American authors to middle school students. It was a splendid event that gave us the opportunity to engage with aspiring students, while simultaneously learning about our rich heritage.

When we first arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find a plethora of books, all written by African-American authors.

“Pick any one you’d like,” directed the office assistant and she wheeled in cart after cart of books. “These are my favorite,” she whispered to me as she brought in the last cart.

I perused through the litany of titles, glancing at familiar books such as Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and Whose Toes Are Those? by Jabari Asim. Minutes passed before I settled on Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold—a classic. Tar Beach is an illustrative children’s book that chronicles the adventurous dream of eight year old Cassie Louise Lightfoot. “Tar beach” refers to the rooftop of the apartment building Cassie lives in; the same building that she flies high above in her magical dream situated in Harlem in 1939. The beauty in Ringgold’s work of art is the universal art of dreaming. She seemingly brings you into her world, while also encouraging the reader to reach beyond their realities and aspire to accomplish your dreams.

Together, the students and I devoured the words on the colorful pages and interpreted the images. It was an inspiring moment in general being surrounded by so much enthusiasm, and reminded me of the same excitement I get in my own Amherst classes. However, were it not for moments like these, engaging with the surrounding Amherst/Hadley/Holyoke communities, I would not be able to reflect on the amazing opportunities Amherst provided me.

The Athletics Department, in conjunction with the Center for Community Engagement, has done wonders in affording students, particularly student-athletes, the resources necessary to foster relationships with the wider Amherst community. For example, each Varsity team selects at least one Athletic Team Engagement Leader (aka ATEL, pronounced “Aye-Tell”). The ATELs meet at the beginning of each semester to be trained and hear how other teams are getting involved. I served as the Varsity Field Hockey Team’s ATEL my sophomore and junior year. During those years we forged a mentor program with the Northampton Girl Scouts, volunteered as baristas at a local anti-human trafficking café, and participated in multiple cancer walks. Personally, I value the sense of community Amherst builds and encourages with our surrounding communities. It highlights the fact that an Amherst education is not merely what we learn in the classroom, but rather the lessons we learn in life, particularly from others.

To read more about Amherst Athletics celebrating Black History Month, check out the article at:

For more information on Amherst Athletics, visit their homepage at:

And, I highly encourage you to read about the Center for Community Engagement at:

Stay tuned for more on my last semester at Amherst and, as always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you know how to reach me! Ciao.


Recently, the Career Center hosted the Government Internships Student Panel featuring students who spent their summers working in government. The panelists included Katie Hurt '15 (U.S. Embassy in Vienna), Cheryl Lim '16 (Singaporean Prime Minister's Office), Kenny Adinkra '16 (Massachusetts Democratic Party), Linda Lu '17 (U.S. Department of Justice), and myself (The White House). After giving a brief explanation of our experiences, we fielded questions from an audience of students interested in pursuing similar government internships in the future. Questions ranged from what the application process consisted of, how we managed our time and resources, and how our experiences shaped our future goals. The panel was a great opportunity for students to connect and advise each other for future success in government internships.

The Career Center provides students with a multitude of resources. Their mission is “to engage and empower students to reflect, explore, experiment and take action to achieve their personal, professional and academic goals”. Students have the opportunity to take self-administered tests to discover who they are and what values are important to them in order to find meaningful opportunities. Once you’ve reflected on yourself, it’s time to explore possible a variety of career fields that might be a good fit for you. The Career Center offers a litany of tools to help you find the right job/internship for you, such as multiple nationwide search engines catered just for Amherst students, an extensive alumni network directory, and a mentoring program that allows you to choose your own Amherst alumni to mentor you!

The Career Center also provides summer opportunities sponsored by alumni, parents and friends of Amherst College to members of the Amherst Select Internship Program (ASIP). I became a member in 2012 and have been satisfied with my experience ever since. In fact, I’ve found and/or applied to all four of the internships I’ve had through the ASIP program (Polaris Project, Verite, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School, and the White House). Once accepted, students complete orientation, cover letter workshops, interview workshops, and resume workshops in order to sufficiently prepare them for the application and interview processes as well as the professional environment they will likely be in.

As if all of those resources weren’t enough, the Career Center in conjunction with the Fellowship Office and Center for Community Engagement offer students summer funding. Regardless of whether your internship is domestic or international, there are numerous avenues to help you throughout the summer. One such opportunity is the Civic Engagement Scholar program (CES). This summer funded internship program is sponsored by the Argosy Foundation, John Abele ’59, and many other generous alumni. The program requires students to complete an 8-10 week internship with a minimum of 300 work hours, participate in pre-departure and re-entry workshops, complete a summer reflection of their experiences, and finally participate in the Internship Fair the following year. The CES scholarship allows students to participate in an internship of their choice so long as it relates to public service or social justice. All in all, Amherst College provides a wealth of opportunities for students to connect and begin exploring possible careers. Trust me, they really do help.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! Until next time…

Food for Thought

Fresh Side

The food at Amherst College is fresh and they always provide a nice variety of traditional, lighter side (meals with seafood), vegetarian, vegan, and pasta dishes. I have a sweet tooth though so dessert and/or the cereal bar are always my go-to meals (sorry Mom). However, if you ever want to try something new the greater Amherst community provides a wealth of dining selections. Known as TYPO (Take-Your-Professor-Out), the program encourages students to strengthen relationships with their professors outside the classroom through tasty food and thoughtful conversation.

It’s actually quite simple: 1) a group of no more than eight students asks up to two faculty or staff members to dinner, 2) one student requests funding, which comes from the Association of Amherst Students (our student government) and the Dean of Faculty’s Office, and 3) the Office of Student Affairs notifies you once the money order is ready for pick-up! Students have a wide range of options when deciding where to eat, including American, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Mexican and Mediterranean.  One of my personal favorites is Fresh Side. If you’re ever in Amherst, try to the Chicken Teriyaki Tea Rolls or Chicken Pad Thai (and don’t forget the peanut sauce!).

Freshside2.jpg Recently, a group of students and I decided we wanted to take our Political Science Professor out to eat. Luckily, there was a unanimous vote for Fresh Side so we all met at the local favorite promptly at 7:00 o’clock. We sat and pondered the menu for a while, although most of us already knew what we wanted. After ordering, the conversation naturally picked up the pace. We discussed our families, past experiences, and current issues. Nearly everyone at the table had had some travelling abroad experiences so we each shared a story or two about our experiences in various countries, what we liked and disliked what we wish we could do again. Long ago the professor told us she fell in love with France and has since visited quite frequently.

“I think my entire wardrobe is from France,” she admitted to us. All semester we had been very impressed with her sense of style and little did we know it was European.

Freshside4.jpg Eventually we began talking about our experiences in the classroom. Our professor, who had been a professor at multiple colleges and universities before coming to Amherst, confessed that Amherst College was by far the place for her. She said Amherst offers an infinite amount of resources to professors for research and other endeavors. She appreciated the intellectual atmosphere Amherst has as well as the progressive trajectory Amherst has been leaning towards. All in all, she, along with the students, expressed genuine pleasure being at Amherst. There’s nothing like a liberal-arts education!

Until next time…feel free to send me an email if you have any questions, comments, or concerns!

DASAC (Duh-sack)

Choreographer: Nia James '15

Formally known as “Dancing & Stepping at Amherst College”, DASAC (pronounced: duh-sack) is Amherst’s premier dance and step group on campus. Their biannual shows, featuring student-choreographed routines, represent Amherst’s finest. This is no doubt due to the long and rigorous practices the selected dancers spend an entire semester practicing. Every semester DASAC holds one night of auditions for roughly 10-15 new coveted spots. Auditions consist of 30 counts from a previous hip-hop piece followed by step auditions, with five people performing at a time. Then choreographers review video footage of the auditions and select new members for their respective pieces. Once a group of dancers is finalized, each group meets a minimum of two hours per week. Most dancers though are featured in multiple pieces and thus spend on average six to eight hours a week practicing, tripling those hours in the weeks before the show.

Choreographer: Somin Kwon '16

The final show takes an incredible amount of time and energy to coordinate. That’s where their leadership plays an integral role in the group’s success. This semester the DASAC officers were senior Nia James ‘15, junior Miu Suzuki ‘16, and senior Lorraine Thomas ’15. In addition to their own choreography, the DASAC officers also coordinate the little details of the final production, such as the production space, lights, costumes, stage as well as marketing the event. It should be no surprise then that their biannual shows are always the hottest on campus and probably one of the hardest shows (if not THE hardest show) to get a seat at. Granted alumni and family have reserved seats front and center, people wait up to two hours before the show JUST to guarantee a good seat (trust me, I do it twice a year).

Choreographers: Christine Croasdaile '17, Shannon Braithwaite '15

But it’s all worth it in the end. Aside for the fact that some of my best friends are in DASAC and they would literally hunt me down if I didn’t attend, I genuinely enjoy watching all their hard work come to fruition. These students are so artistically talented! Watching my friends express themselves, amidst such a hype crowd, with all the lights and all the music—that’s something I’ll truly miss, but will never forget once I graduate.

As always, I’m here if you have any questions! :)

The Final Countdown!

It’s that time of year people! No, I’m not talking about New Year’s or Christmas, and it’s definitely not my birthday (although that is coming up soon…cough cough December 12), but its registration period at Amherst College! Personally, registration period is a cacophonous mix of anxiety, relief, stress, and excitement. With nearly 37 different majors and over 800 course offerings, not to mention the ability to craft your own courses, Amherst’s open curriculum trusts students to take the reign, clearly communicate clearly their goals and objectives in learning, and experiment in different fields.


With an open curriculum, Amherst students are not required to take distribution requirements. The only mandatory course is your First-Year Seminar, which introduces you to your future liberal arts education. From the beginning, we are expected and have full responsibility over our course load. Now this can be both a curse and a blessing.

As a first year, I was convinced that I was going to be a Psychology/Spanish double major. In fact, I remember going to meet with my first advisor for the first time with a list of every single course I was going to take neatly written in an excel sheet. Seeing as this was our first meeting, she wasn’t sure if she should laugh or call my parents, but she did inform me that as a first year who had yet to take ANY classes in college, I should wait to see what I was interested in and then go from there. She encouraged me to explore different majors during the “Add/Drop” period and then choose classes that would be practical, interesting, and somewhat challenging. Granted every class at Amherst meets that requirement, I ended up taking a Spanish course, my First Year Seminar, an LJST (Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought) course, and a Political Science course. It turns out, I loved the LJST major! I subsequently dropped my aspirations to be a Psych major and while I did take a ton of Spanish courses and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, I decided to only major in LJST (Amherst doesn’t have minors by the way).


Over the past four years, I have done my fair share of exploring. With courses in everything from Sociology to Theater and Dance, Astronomy to Art History, and European Studies to Math, I feel confident that I received a comprehensive (and might I add intense) course load that I sought when I applied to Amherst. Yes, sometimes the open curriculum was daunting, but with the help and guidance of my advisors, deans, coaches, and peers, I had the necessary support system to make the best choices for me. Although after graduating from high school, I looked forward to never having to take another Math or Science course (ever), he encouraged me strengthen (instead of run from) the skills I needed work on. In my more challenging courses, various deans as well as my coaches made sure I understood the material, and when I didn’t they were quick to find me a tutor. Furthermore, my peers were extremely helpful when it came time to pick classes by telling me their experiences with previous professors, their likes/dislikes about the material, and how it would fit with other courses in regards to the workload.

If there’s one thing I like most about the open curriculum, it’s the atmosphere it creates. When you open the gates to intellectual learning and remove barriers from the students, you’re left with passionate learners who ACTUALLY WANT TO BE THERE. Rarely (read: if ever) have I been in a class where there’s not active learning, focused questions from both students and faculty, and deep discussions that carry over into the dining hall, our dorm rooms, or student/alumni forums. That type of intensity is special and the result of the trust and impact such intellectual freedom can have.

As I contemplated how I wanted to bring together the final semester of my Amherst College experience, I thought about how far I had come as a student. I was less concerned with what grades I anticipated in each course, but rather how each course was going to compliment my studies, internships, and experiences thus far. With all of my requirements within my major fulfilled (meaning I have taken 11 courses within my major), I am free to take whatever my heart desires in the spring of 2015. I chose to take the following courses: Ethnographic Film (Anthropology and Sociology), Guantanamo (Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought), Life is a Dream (Spanish), and a Special Topics course in LJST I created on “The Wire”. If you want to know more about why I chose each of these courses, send me an email! I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions about Amherst.

Until next time friends...Ciao!


Happy Halloween!

What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter?


Pumpkin pi!

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I know, that was probably one of the nerdiest jokes I’ve told in a while/ever, but Happy Halloween Weekend people! Honestly, I love Halloween Weekend at Amherst College. It’s a time when people get to really show their creativity, spirit, and just have some good ol’ fun! This year was no exception. Walking around campus on Friday and Saturday, I saw everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) from Winnie-the-Pooh to Nicki Minaj, Cat and Dog to Miley Cyrus, sailors, Minnie Mouse, movie producers, Dorothy, witches, hot dogs, fisherman, and many many more.

photo (10).JPG Most, if not all, of the costumes were DIY (do-it-yourself). Some students spent HOURS perfecting their costumes, even asking their parents to come help with the embellishments. On Saturday night, everyone donned their outfit of choice and headed to their respective Halloween parties. There’s a place for everyone to party at Amherst, especially with the new construction of “The Powerhouse,” the new party scene on campus. When the clock strikes midnight, students from King Dormitory to Hitchcock Dormitory make their way down to the warehouse-like building. It’s an open, vibrant, and safe place for all students, with no one organization on campus claiming rights to the space. This new public area is overseen by the Powerhouse Committee, a group of 6 students in charge of coordinating and managing all events in the Powerhouse. The Powerhouse is not merely for parties. Other events, such as art exhibitions, dance performances, research showcases of student’s work all occur during the week. But on the weekend, it’s time to dance!


Returning from my study abroad program in Spain, I was excited about this new endeavor by the Administration to create more lively spaces for students after recently banning fraternities. Although nothing will compare to Joy Esclava, Serrano 41, Shoko, or Kapital (a seven story club in the heart of Madrid…need I say more?), Amherst has its own swanky nightclub/lounge now-and-days. This aesthetically pleasing place has pipes lining the walls, upper and lower tiered balconies overlooking an enormous dance floor, flashing club lights, loud speakers, an ad hoc stage, a portable beer-bar for 21+ students, multiple beautifully lit modern bathrooms, and large floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to the outdoor patio space. Outside you’ll find large patio tables and chairs during the day or rusted benches and open space to sit and mingle at night.

PowerHouse1.jpg The Powerhouse has definitely had a positive impact on Amherst culture. Not only is it a safe space to party because of student security and Amherst College police who monitor during events, but it’s a shared space in which different social groups can comingle, really get to know one another, and dance the night away! Social diversity is a great way to enhance and embrace the overall diversity on campus, and what better way to do that than some good ol’ tunes?

Let me know if you have any questions! Until next time…

Hiking the Notch

“Camille, do you want to share any words of wisdom with the team?” my coach asked once we reached the top of the Notch.


“Well,” I said, “started from the bottom, now we’re here.”

The team giggled with enthusiasm. Over the past three years, I had undergone the traditional hike with my teammates. This year was no different. This relaxing activity was a nice and much needed break from our normal rigorous practices. Instead of drills, scrimmages, and conditioning, we enjoyed a 20 minute walk 942 feet above ground. Tall birch, beech, and hemlock trees lined the path to the top. The combination of yellow, green, and orange foliage made the walk serene. With nothing but a desire to the reach the top, we began our journey.


Located five miles south of Amherst College, the Mount Holyoke Range State Park is a seven-mile ridge from Hadley to Belchertown. This blend of state, town, and private land spans nearly 3,000 miles, including 30 miles of marked trails, making it a perfect place for hiking, walking, viewing vistas, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, and hunting. Every year, the Varsity Field Hockey team hikes “The Notch,” a popular destination within the State Park with magnificent views of the western Massachusetts valley area.

However, while the view at the top is heavenly, the task of getting to the top is no easy feat. The winding paths begin to burn your legs, the air gets thinner, and all of a sudden you’re wondering why you didn’t bring more water. The bugs bite, your feet hurt, and the end is seemingly nowhere in sight. Regardless of the struggle to the top, my teammates and I supported each other to the very end.

When we finally made it to the top, our coaches surprised us with apple cider and cinnamon donuts. We devoured the goodies and talked about our progress thus far as a team. We were connecting in games, bonding on and off the field, and fostering genuine relationships with each other. Regardless of the struggles we’d faced—team injuries, stress, fear, insecurities—we overcame all the hurdles in our path. One of the special things about Amherst is the people here. From day 1, my friends have been encouraging, motivating, enthusiastic, and there for me when I needed them. From my freshman year roommate, to my teammates, classmates, and even professors, I’ve found a great support system within the Amherst College community. And if there’s one thing I’ll take away from my college experience, it’s that the journey won’t always be easy, but it’ll always be worth it, especially when you have support along the way.