The power to make change

January 12, 2018
Malik Day

“When I was younger, I initially did not envision attending college,” says Malik Day, a senior from Minneapolis majoring in finance. “I was the first to do anything in my family—no one graduated high school, so college didn't seem possible for me.”

Day found inspiration in the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness.

“I saw a man who was taking care of a family and overcoming homelessness to achieve his goals. Just like me,” he says.

One of his most rewarding U of M experiences has been to bring a historic fraternity back to campus.

“I am a member of the first black fraternity founded in the Midwest, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., which has a tremendous history of achievement,” he says. “Although I brought the chapter back by myself, now we are the biggest historically African American Greek organization on campus.”

Upon graduation, Day plans to get into trading financial securities, and he already has an offer from Citigroup in New York.

“Having the opportunity to go to college allows me to achieve true greatness, and seeing what I can accomplish lets me know that the sky is the limit,” he says.

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This story originally appeared as part of a feature on first-generation students at the U of M.