College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
2155 Old Main Bldg 
4841 Cass Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201 United States
P: 313-577-2515
F: 313-577-9693

July Student Spotlight - Darius Ballard

Date: 8/4/2017

Our July, 2017 Student Spotlight is Darius Ballard. Darius, a senior majoring in psychology, came to Wayne State in 2009 as a transfer student. Like many WSU students, Darius’ journey would not be described as the ‘traditional’ college experience. Despite some challenging life circumstances, which include living with epilepsy and parenting two special-needs children, Darius has never given up on his academic goals. To help ensure his success, Darius takes advantage of various support services on campus, such as the Academic Success Center and PASS. He discovered that volunteering allows him to apply concepts that he’s learned in class. Darius has volunteered as a disability advocate and volunteered at an after-school program called ‘Think Together’. He currently works with AmeriCorps helping to board up abandoned houses in Detroit.  He recently was awarded two scholarships: one from Epilepsy Free and one from FACES (Finding A Cure for Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders). Darius is an outstanding example of how one can overcome difficult challenges through hard work, a never-give-up attitude and a willingness to seek help when needed. Darius offers this excellent advice to other students: “Take advantage of the PASS program. It can really help you out a lot, especially because some psych courses can be difficult and they will work with you one-on-one. Also, get to know your professors; they can be a great resource, even after the class is over. Many professors want to get to know you on both an academic and personal level and are willing to help you with other endeavors.”

Campus involvement / Student Organizations:

Currently involved with AmeriCorps; Psychology Club

Plans after graduation:

Darius wants to use his education and experiences to help others. He hopes to continue working with AmeriCorps, particularly with the Vista program. He also hopes to spread awareness of epilepsy and seizure disorders through education programming in his community. He would someday like to pursue a Masters of Social Work and/or work in special education.  

Hobbies / additional activities:

Movies, adventurous activities like rock-climbing, exploring Detroit while spending time with kids (this summer they went to the Detroit Historical Museum and the DIA). 

Favorite Part about the Department of Psychology:

Darius says that his favorite part about the Department of Psychology is all the hands on help, especially through the PASS program. PASS has helped him learn different study techniques, time management and even helped him prepare scholarship application materials. Darius also likes the fact that psychology is very complex and studying psychology makes him think outside the box. He loves learning about child development and behavior because it has helped him as a parent.