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Concord Full 2


Full Length College Conversation with Taraea, Devin, Dwain, Brennah


Concord University (Athens, West Virginia)

Undergraduate Population: 1,644 undergraduate students
U.S. Department of College Scorecard: Graduation rate, majors, costs, salaries
Official Website:
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube



Taraea Anthony
Hometown: Saint Michaels, Maryland
High School: Saint Michaels High School
Year in School: Class of 2022
Major: Graphic Design and Studio Art, with a minor in Digital Communications
Taraea’s Places:  Delta Zeta Sorority, Student Government Association, SSS (Student support services), Welcome Center, the game room
Reach out to Taraea on Instagram: @taraea.ariell


Devin O’Sullivan
Hometown: Grafton, WV
High School:  Notre Dame High School
Year in School: Class of 2023
Major: English
Devin’s Places: Theatre and sports teams. I also ran cross country and track. Traveling.
Reach out to Devin on Instagram: @devinnz


Dwain Porterfield
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
High School: Southeast Raleigh High School
Year in School: Class of 2021
Major: Social Work
Dwain’s Places: Football, Fellowship CA, Black Student Union
Reach out to Dwain on Instagram: @blade_brown58


Brennah Davis
Your Hometown: Athens, West Virginia
High School: Summers County High School
Year in School: Class of 2024
Major: Business Management
Brennah’s Places: Sports, Certified Canoeing Instructor, Certified Basketball Referee, Certified Sports Coach, Certified Bartender, 4-H Counselor, 4-H Club Leader, Coached a girl's middle school basketball.
Reach out to Brennah on: Facebook; Brennah Davis, Instagram @brennahbeth, Snapchat: brennahdavis00

College Conversation Breakdown

Hashtag Directory:
#WhoIs #highschool #background #athletics #dreamjob #collegesearch #collegeselection #scholarships #communitycollege #studentsupport #payingforcollege #studentloans #makingfriends #gettinghelp #mentalhealth #uncomfortableexperience #people #places  #mostjoyful #advice #studentorgs #spirituality #relationships #academics #greeklife #sorority #disability

00:00 Intro

00:35 Brennah describes herself in high school. She says she was pretty popular and was friends with everyone. She played lots of sports. She wasn’t the best academically, she just did enough to get by. She wouldn’t give her report card to her mom. She just got grades good enough to keep playing ball. She was able to graduate. #highschool #background

01:24 Taraea describes herself in high school. She says she was extremely shy. But she was usually out in the community a lot. She came from a small town where everyone knew everyone else. She says she’s still a shy person but she got a little bit better in college. #highschool #background

02:22 Devin describes himself in high school. He said he lived 35 minutes away from his school which defined a lot of his high school experience. He says he shifted a lot between different friend groups. It was harder to socialize with friends because he lived far away. He played a lot of sports. His graduating class only had 39 people in it. #highschool #background

04:02 Dwain describes himself in high school. He says he was a football player. He wasn’t super popular. Most people knew him because he was a football player that lifted weights all the time, and he was good at it. People knew him by his last name because that’s what the coaches called him. He also plays football in college. #highschool #background

05:35 Dwain says he had no plan B, he just knew he wanted to play college football. He went to a football showcase camp where unsigned players could show themselves to colleges. Concord wasn’t there but they responded to his email with his stats and highlights. They said they were out of scholarship money but he was able to walk on to the team and then at the end of his freshman year he started getting scholarship money that kept increasing. Dwain says it hurt a bit at the beginning when he didn’t get scholarship money at first. But he decided he would focus on himself and remember that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.  #athletics #collegesearch #collegeselection #scholarships

08:20 Dwain says his mother has been the person to help him through difficult times. She wasn’t soft, she was all about getting the job done. #people 

08:50 Taraea talks about going from being the shy person to being so involved in college. When she got to college she was encouraged by her mom to push herself more.  #people  #places

10:20 Taraea talks about how she chose and got to Concord. She reveals she went to two community colleges before Concord. She went to Chesapeake college and polk state college in Florida. There she learned about getting scholarships. She applied to a few colleges in WV. Concord was the closest to where she was living so she chose Concord without even visiting. She had a few scholarships and it was the cheaper option compared to Marshall and WVU. But she knew she’d be able to achieve her goals at Concord. She wants to be a character designer and an animator. She wants to animate kids shows. Harlan goes into how helpful it can be to investigate the paths of your heroes and reach out to them.  #collegesearch #collegeselection #communitycollege #scholarships #dreamjob

13:32 Harlan asks Brennah what her dream is. She says she doesn’t know exactly what she wasnt to do. She likes being a manager, she is a manager at walmart and she works as a restaurant manager, she also coaches sports. She likes being in charge and she went back to school for business management. She also got a bunch of certifications. She’s met a lot of people and made a lot of friends. #dreamjob

15:31 Devin talks about his dream. He is interested in a lot and doesn’t quite know what to do long term. He is interested in journalism, wanted to be a pyro technician. He is interested in youth ministry and has worked as a camp counselor. He has visited 46 states in the US and his next goal is to hike the Appalachian trail. He says if he has money and extra time he’s using it to go somewhere and travel. #dreamjob

19:29 Harlan asks Brennah how she paid for college. She says she suffered a concussion during her senior year so she didn’t get any scholarships for sports. She did get to walk on to Concord’s track team and she played golf. Loans are covering the cost. Her mom helped her figure out how much she needed. She helped her fill out the FAFSA. She talks about growing up with so many siblings and how she helped raise a lot of her sisters as she was going to school. She moved out to get some space, but it was hard for her to leave. She knew she had to do what was best for herself. Her family is pretty tightly knit. Her family wasn’t happy at first when she decided to move away. #athletics #payingforcollege #studentloans

24:41 Taraea talks about paying for college. She says in high school she knew she didn’t have money for college, so that’s why she chose to go to community colleges first. She got a grant that paid for community college. When she got to university, her mom helped her fill out the FAFSA and she got a few scholarships which she receives yearly, but most of the cost is paid for by loans. She recommends students that don’t know what they want to do should try community college to get the general education credits out of the way and learn what you like and don’t like. She learned what her strengths were at community college. Harlan asks how she ended up in West Virginia, coming from Maryland. She says her mom had found her family in WV, she hadn’t known her family her whole life, so she moved to meet them and they ended up staying in. #communitycollege #scholarships #studentloans #payingforcollege

27:13 Dwain talks about his dream job. Dwain wants to be a professional wrestler. He trains and has started going to a wrestling school that is near where he lives. #dreamjob

29:35 Dwain lists his places on campus. He lists church, football, and the weightroom. He talks about the importance of his faith and how it helps him to stay grounded. When he first arrived in WV, being so far from home, he realized something felt off. He didn’t enjoy himself at first. He then realized that it had been a long time since he had gone to church. He started attending FCA (fellowship of christian athletes.) He met some great people there. He met friends from other sports. Brennah jumps in and talks about how she was part of FCA as well. She was from the area and knew people. Dwain knew some of his teammates but he went by himself at first and grew front here. #places #spirituality #studentorgs #athletics

32:48 Devin talks about his places. He didn’t know anyone on campus at first. He was relying on his family and friends at home often, calling home a lot. Then he joined the cross country team and met some people there. Then he saw a flyer advertising auditions for a play. He figured he would try out, he got the lead role. He also got to work on his friend’s TV show since he is a communications major. His athletics friends are his roommates now. He also says his faith is important to him. He attends the Newman Center since he is Catholic. He also mentions a group called Vines and Branches which is a no-denominational group that meets over Zoom. #places #spirituality #studentorgs

36:04 Taraea talks about her places on campus. Her sorority is where she found community, she also likes to hang out in the game room. It’s a great place to hang out and play video games. Harlan asks her about how she ended up in a sorority when she doesn’t identify as a “sorority person.” She talks about going to recruitment and not really being into it, but she kept attending. She talks about how the other people attending seemed to also not fit the stereotypical image of a sorority girl like you’d imagine from movies and TV. She found a group that she felt she fit in with and could talk to about common interests. #places #greeklife #sorority

38:28 Harlan asks Dwain what made him stick through the difficult times at first. His mom gave him a pep talk telling him how life is changing and how the life he was used to in high school has gone, even if he were to come back home, things aren’t going to be the same way. It helped him open up his mind to see what this new life had to offer. #uncomfortableexperience #people

40:17 Brennah talks about her connection and community at Concord. She had more connection to the campus directly in her freshman year when she was involved with sports. She works at Walmart as well and connects with her coworkers. She also works with 4H and teaches kids. She likes working with kids. Her mother runs a food bank and she assists her. Harlan asks her to explain how students in need could go about getting help. Brennah says that Concord has a pantry that has canned food in Ray Hall. It also has hygienic products. She also details what her mom’s food bank offers. She even encourages any concord students watching to get in touch with her and offers to link them up with a way to get food. #people #places #studentsupport 

44:50 Harlan asks Brennah what her most uncomfortable experience was and how she got through it. She says she was less uncomfortable and more clueless when she started at Concord. She had no idea what she wanted to do and changed her major about 7 times. She went from communication, to athletic training, then she went to community college for law enforcement. Then there was stress of living at home and being involved with family. She had a bit of a “party girl” stage. #changemajor #uncomfortableexperience

46:18 Harlan asks Brennah if she has any advice for people that choose to party. She encourages people to be safe and always have a buddy. She says there isn’t really a place to party at Concord in the immediate vicinity. Keep your head straight, be smart, don’t drink and drive or get alcohol poisoning. #advice #partying #alcohol

46:45 Devin talks about his more uncomfortable experience. He says the whole of this past semester was very difficult for him. He is hard of hearing and he wears hearing aids. He didn’t realize how much he relied on reading people’s lips in order to understand them until COVID happened and mask wearing became essential. Trying to understand his professors as they were half a classroom away and covered by a mask made it very difficult. He is able to bluetooth his instructors voices directly to his ears over zoom but in person classes were a struggle. He mentions a resource on campus for students with disabilities where note takers will anonymously take notes during your classes for you and send them to you. Harlan asks if he has any advice for other students coming in with a learning challenge. He knows it sounds easy to say just to ask for help. He reassures that the professors are understanding and can meet with you during office hours. Bring it up to your friends on campus too, they might be able to help. #uncomfortableexperience #studentsupport #disability

52:14 Dwain talks about his most uncomfortable experience. He says his first week of football camp as a freshman was horrible. It’s overwhelming at first. You’re on your feet all day starting at 6am until lights out. You’re in your room for about 17 minutes. It really makes you think about how badly you want to actually continue playing. He says he started to wonder if he actually wanted to do it. But he pushed through it. It gets easier every year because you know what to expect. But as a freshman it’s a big surprise. Everyone coming from high school was the star of where they were, now in college you’re just average and have to keep up. #uncomfortableexperience #athletics 

54:48 Harlan asks Taraea about her most uncomfortable experience. She said she had social anxiety when she first arrived on campus. She got through it very slowly. It took her a year to really improve. She used to be too shy to enter a building and ask a simple question. She credits student support services as a big help. She explains that she took things one at a time. Things you practice every day help make it easier.  #uncomfortableexperience #studentsupport #anxiety

58:00 Taraea shares her most joyful experience. She is most proud about her drawing skills and how they have developed over time. #mostjoyful

58:22 Dwain shares his most joyful experience. He’s proud that he was able to handle it and excel. #mostjoyful

58:31 Devin shares his most joyful experience. Even though he had a rough semester he was also able to bring his GPA up to the highest it has been since he’s been at school. #mostjoyful

58:48 Brennah shares her most joyful experience. She’s proud that she has been able to get back to school and work towards graduating. #mostjoyful

59:24 Taraea shares advice she would give her high school self. She would tell herself to trust her gut because usually it’s the right thing to do. She regrets not doing that more in the past but it’s led her to where she is today. #advice

59:43 Brennah shares what she would tell her high school self. She says she would say it’s okay not to have a plan. You need to take time for yourself to figure out what you want to do and if you don’t know, just keep going. #advice

1:00:04 Devin shares advice he would give his high school self. He says he would say not to second guess himself. He remembers times he held back out of fear of not succeeding. He’s doing better with that. #advice

1:00:26 Dwain shares advice he would give his high school self. He would tell himself to focus on himself and to enjoy every moment and live in the present.#advice



New York Times bestselling author Harlan Cohen talks with current and recent students about life in college.  For more videos visit BeforeCollegeTV on YouTube.  For more information about Harlan Cohen visit him online at: or follow him on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tik Tok | LinkedIn | Snapchat (helpmeharlan).

DISCLAIMER: All views expressed by panelists and participants are their own and are in no way endorsed, officially affiliated, or representative of the institution, Harlan Cohen, or BeforeCollegeTV.  All views expressed on panelists social media are not endorsed or affiliated with Harlan Cohen and BeforeCollegeTV.  Students views, opinions, and advice are their own. ALWAYS contact official representatives to verify and validate any information provided