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Florida State University

Javario Bates

Reflecting and appreciating diversity

"I wanted a university where I could benefit from a wide range of perspectives, opinions and experiences."
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Major: Family and Child Sciences
Graduation: Fall 2011


The Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker once said, "Stereotypes do exist, but we have to walk through them." Florida State University senior Javario Bates hasn't just walked through whatever stereotypes may persist — he's sprinted right past them.

Bates began his association with FSU through the College Reach-Out Program, an initiative of the Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE) that is designed to help students prepare for a successful college education. Bates' own preparation included earning an Associate of Arts degree while still in high school through the dual-enrollment program at Tallahassee Community College.

Bates grew up west of Tallahassee in Chattahoochee and has family members who are FSU alumni. Upon entering the university as a junior, he got involved in the campus community, rising to executive board member status in the Black Student Union, becoming a CARE mentor, and earning membership into the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Bates also does volunteer work for off-campus organizations including the Big Bend Homeless Coalition and Springfield Community Center. In addition, he has participated in the Beyond Borders intercultural exchange program, which provided him the opportunity to participate in cross-cultural study in Europe.

An interest in other cultures is entirely in keeping with Bates' longstanding appreciation for people of all types, a quality that also drew him to FSU.

"Diversity is extremely important to me," Bates says, "and the fact that my university includes students and faculty from different religions, races, ages, disabilities, orientations and nationalities is one of the reasons I embraced FSU.

"I wanted a university where I could benefit from a wide range of perspectives, opinions and experiences."

After graduating from FSU in the fall, Bates plans to become a camp counselor with the Camp Adventure Program, which serves children whose parents are stationed at U.S. military bases in Japan. After that he plans to enroll in graduate school with the goal of earning a doctorate in marriage and family therapy.