When Ayanna Dunn first started out at Sage, she’ll admit to feeling overwhelmed. She wanted very much to be a lawyer, to have this be the way she could make a difference in people’s lives, but in her private moments she doubted. Did she have what it takes?
But Ayanna never doubted that Sage, and its Law & Society program, were where she needed to be. “My professors were all willing to help,” she says. “They were always there for me.”
Ayanna references Professor Bobbi Gabrenya in particular. “She knew how I was feeling. She would be so honest and realistic when we talked, putting things in perspective for me. She’d say: Keep going. Try. You’ll never know until you try.”
At Professor Gabrenya’s urging, Ayanna would secure an internship at the New York State Assembly, which would turn into a full-time position she holds to this day. She’s flourished in this role, and had the chance to experience first-hand the very real impacts the law has on people and society.
“When we want to make a difference,” she says, “we often don’t know what that actually means.”
Ayanna knows now. “The whole point of being a lawyer for me is realizing that people are often taken advantage of, and that I want to help to do something about that.”
She intends to start law school in the fall of 2021
“I’ve become more mature, more realistic,” she says. “I started out a little lost and confused, and now I’m really making something of myself. I’ve changed so much since high school. I’m excited now to see where I go.”