Plattsburgh State senior and international business and business administration double major Sonia Bennett doesn’t let anything get in the way of what she wants to accomplish.
Bennett has always been about helping others, and her persistence to push herself and her peers to be the best they can be has endeared her to many on the PSUC campus.
The Bronx native first came to PSUC as a freshman to study history then changed her major to math. Bennett said she eventually settled on business because it was something that she was always good at.
Bennett credits the Educational Opportunity Program’s Pre-Summer Institute, which occurs before the school year starts, for getting her ready for college life.
“I think the EOP program in general helped out alot,” Bennett said. “It wasn’t just me that came in it was like 50 other students that were with me, so I felt much more comfortable.”
Bennett said that getting involved on campus was one of the best things she did for for herself.
During her time at PSUC she has been a senator and the vice president of clubs and organizations for the Student Association and has been a part of Black Onyx: The Black Student Union, formerly known as AKEBA, since her sophomore year.
Bennett said Black Onyx was “her first love” on campus, and even now that she’s graduating it will be hard for her to step away and let go.
Recently, Bennett got an internship opportunity through Cornell University for this summer where she will be able to be a part of the Summer Pre-Law Program.
Bennett, who is also a legal studies minors, realized along with other students, there was no clubs or organizations on campus pertaining to law where they could practice and study for the Law School Admission Test.
“We started looking for organizations that we could bring to campus, and we decided to bring the National Black Law Students Association,” she said.
Bennett became one of the association’s co-founders last spring and is now the president of PSUC’s chapter.
“Now if students come to Plattsburgh and are interested in law, there’s something to get into and practice,” Bennett said.
PSUC sophomore and sister Nelda Bennett said it has been good to have her as a support system.
“I know she’s here on campus, so If I ever need help with anything she’s not that far away,” she said.
Nelda said she is proud of what her sister is doing, and since a young age, Sonia said she wanted to do big things.
“Just seeing her put her words into actions is empowering. It has made more determined to do stuff that I want to do,” Nelda said. “Being around her and her friends and seeing how determined and persistent they are it makes me want to do more.”
Sonia, who is a Resident Assistant in Harrington Hall, said she has gotten really close with her residents and fellow RA’s in her hall.
“I always wanted to be an RA. I love it. I wish I could have done it sooner,” Sonia said. “This is my first year and last year doing it, unfortunately.”
Sophomore political science and philosophy major Antwan Clark, who is a fellow a co-founder of the PSUC chapter of the Black Students Law Association, first met Sonia during EOP Pre-Summer Institute where she worked as math tutor and consuelor.
“We became very close during the program,” Clark said. “Going into my freshman year, we built off that bond, and to this day, it’s been a great friendship.”
Clark said he admires when Sonia says she’s going to do something, she makes it happen no matter how difficult it is.
“Being around her it has raised the expectations of ourselves,” he said. “If you’re Sonia’s friend, you are definitely going to thrive as long as she’s there.”
Clark said he compares her to LeBron James. Similar to how he makes everyone on his team better, Sonia makes everyone better.
Clark said it is remarkable how much of a driving force for getting the organization on campus and helping it grow.
“It’s here, and now it’s thriving,” he said. “More people are interested and now are joining the club. It’s really because of her.”
One thing that Clark wonders is how Sonia manages to keep her sanity and have time to accomplish everything in her busy schedule.
“She’s really interested in court proceedings and law. So she’ll go to the courtroom and then go to work for a couple of hours, and then go back,” he said. “She really wants to get every opportunity she can.”
Clark said Sonia pushes people.
“When she first came to the university she came with a lot of potential and now that she’s graduating she’s a shining star and that shining star paved the way and helped a lot of people along the way,” Clark said.
Email David Luces at firstname.lastname@example.org