Some Things Never Change

Trust Kupupika
Trust Kupupika ’17, Project 55 Fellow at International Schools Services

Trust Kupupika is originally from Jamaica, Queens, New York. At Princeton, she majored in Anthropology and minored in African Studies and African American Studies. Trust is passionate about music, literature, and cooking. She works at International Schools Services as the Communications, Marketing, and Outreach Fellow. During her time at Princeton, Trust was the leader of various cultural groups, such as the Black Student Union, and volunteered her time to committees on campus that helped improve the quality of life for students within marginalized communities.

I incorrectly assumed graduating last summer and transitioning into work at a non-profit would offer a reprieve from the breakneck pace that is ubiquitous at Princeton. But with the rest of my life quickly occupying the time freed up from writing papers and attending precepts, it didn’t take long to start feeling the all too familiar exhaustion and frustration I had hoped to leave behind me.

Lucky for me, learning to unlock new passions and talents is another Princeton phenomenon that has followed me into my post-grad life. I’m working as a Marketing and Communications Fellow at International Schools Services (ISS) in Princeton, NJ and it has been nothing less than incredible. Along with the everyday tasks of updating social media pages and writing articles, I also have the pleasure of exploring my capacity for design and coordinating a global diversity collaborative.

For the first time in my life, I’ve delved into my love of art in a professional capacity. At work, I’ve been able to design posters and ads that are sent out to audiences around the world. This has been both frightening and exhilarating. At first, I was beyond nervous (I have no real technical skills in design), but everyone I work with has been super helpful in showing me the ropes. I never considered my passion for doodling and making posters for campus events could ever influence my professional life, but nowadays I’m being asked more and more to use InDesign and Illustrator to create fact sheets and even logos. I’ve been so inspired by the work I’m doing, I even invested in a small tablet to work on digital design at home! Needless to say, digital art is a road I hope to continue to explore, and I owe that burgeoning interest entirely to working for ISS.

Lastly, helping to coordinate a global diversity collaborative that grows in reach almost daily is another frightening and enlightening adventure. I have always had a passion for diversity work on campus, and being able to put those talents on the frontline at work has been enormously rewarding. I like to feel that I can impact the lived realities of other people like me who have been systemically disenfranchised. Working on this collaborative is an extension of my activism, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to blend activism seamlessly into my 9 to 5. I’m especially grateful that my activism moved beyond just the US, so that’s just another plus of working for ISS. Regardless of exhaustion and frustration, the passions I’m developing now promise to sustain me through this new journey that is life as a young professional.

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