Student government president learns to branch out, take risks

Devin Majors, of Nashville, beat the odds set against him by taking risks. “I didn’t grow up in … a well-off background. … I went to underperforming schools, and I kinda beat a lot of statistics growing up,” he said. Majors is a senior political science major at the University of Tennessee at Martin and president of the Student Government Association.

Majors says it is rare to see his high school classmates post-graduation, many having been arrested or involved in shootings. “I know how bad the situation is. I know what the statistics show (about) people who went to the schools that I went to. I know what their future is ‘supposed’ to look like. So, if I can do anything, use the opportunity that I’ve been given … to help those people out, that will make my day,” said Majors, who plans to become a civil rights attorney.

“I’ve had a lot of people in my life who’ve given me opportunities that other people haven’t been given, but I will make sure that I use those opportunities to give back to the community,” he said.

Majors has given back through internships with both the Bank of America Student Leaders Program and the Metro Nashville Public Defenders Office. Through these opportunities, he has worked with the Oasis Center, a nonprofit that focuses on youth crisis intervention in Nashville, and with public defenders helping underrepresented clients.

“There are a lot of people in our society who don’t have anyone to speak up for them, and a lot of times, instead of … fighting the battle by (themselves), they just don’t fight the battle at all,” he said.

In addition to serving as SGA president, Majors is also involved with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Black Student Association and the Multicultural Activities Council. He sees involvement with student organizations as a networking opportunity. “It’s important to go to class, but at the same time you need to make meaningful relationships with other people. Student organizations are (an) easy way to provide networking,” he said.

When asked what advice he has for new students, Majors said, “Don’t let your comfort be your downfall. It can be very scary to go try something new or join a new organization or take on a leadership position or get a title, but … if you’re comfortable, you’re not growing.”

“You can’t be scared to take risks. College is here for you to grow, and you gotta make sure you’re stepping out of your comfort zone if you want to get anywhere in college or just life in general,” he added.

Majors, who says he would never have become SGA president if he had not taken risks of his own, is serving his second term as president during the 2019-20 school year.


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