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Abeo Peterson | Law and Society '21

Major: Law & Society
Minors: African American Studies, Forensic Science

Abeo Peterson

Hello, my name is Abeo Peterson and I am from the great city of Indianapolis. I majored in Law & Society (Criminology) with a double minor in African American Studies and Forensic Science. 

I originally entered Purdue with my major being Biochemistry. Being in the College of Science was a very complex and admirable field. I went through all of the motions you could think of as an incoming freshman. Obviously everything was difficult in trying to adjust to the independent lifestyle. I realized, after a while and after failing my last biology test, that science was not for me. This is where my journey into liberal arts began.

I have always known that I wanted to do something that benefits people, especially people in my community. After realizing my heart was not in science, I turned to something I knew would never fail me, and that was criminal justice. My career goal has always been to do work that was hands-on, which is why I have always wanted to be a detective.

After transitioning to the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), I found my days looking more and more positive. I was in a program that gave me the ultimate amount of support. I found myself being even more involved, especially in CLA, where I served as a Diversity Ambassador. This is only one of the many things I was involved with on campus.

I was also a member of the Jahari Dance Troupe, which is a performing arts ensemble in the Black Cultural Center. I was also the vice president or assistant branch director for Jewels Incorporated, which recently became a part of the diversity initiative in CLA.

In addition to all the many activities that I was dedicated to, in my free time I also worked a part-time job. I worked for University Residences as a student office staff member. With this job, I learned a lot about personal skills and customer service. It was as if I am receiving on-the-job training, where I can learn new skills for myself later in life.

I had many great experiences in my time at Purdue. I had the amazing opportunity of building a home away from home. I created a family, was actively involved, and was managing myself. The greatest part of this experience was making friends that I know I will have for the rest of my life.

Having access to the Black Cultural Center was also a highlight in my time at this university. In that space, I did not feel one-sided, I never felt the need to defend my blackness, and I was always welcomed with open arms. I appreciate the fact that the environment is one that is built of laughter, performing, and improvements.

If I were to give one piece of advice it would be to challenge your norm. The challenge is what makes experience that much better and that much easier to learn from.