Back-to-School Month Feature: Indio Prather, Community Advocate

August 11, 2022

Excited to return to NOVA for the fall, Indio Prather does a lot of work to make a difference in his community. Prather, who is also a musical artist, talks about his work at the NOVA Woodbridge Food Pantry and wants to ensure that students and community members continue to know about the benefits of the pantries at all six NOVA campuses.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background:

I am a local artist, and I just am enamored with helping the community. As a NOVA student, I work at the food pantry at the Woodbridge Campus. I love that feeling of giving back, which is why I work there. Working at the food pantry is what excites me the most for the fall semester. I have aspirations of expanding the pantry and getting more people interested in using it year-round.

What brought you to NOVA?

I am from Dale Blvd. [near Woodbridge], and I am just from right in this backyard. So, I’ve always heard of NOVA.

What are you studying or plan to study at NOVA?

Right now, I am focused on studying liberal arts at NOVA. I plan to attend an HBCU after I graduate and then I want to work in the music industry. I am a vocalist, and I am a hip hop rap artist. Hip hop and rap music, to me, brings the sense of community. When I performed, it brought people together in my community and allowed me to gather other communities together.

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA?

I would say, “don’t kill yourself to try and get a degree, take your time.” A lot of students I know stress about the Dean’s list and a 4.0. I know a lot of people want to do the best for their parents, I am the same. I would say that we are all going to eventually go somewhere; so you have to live the best for you. Do your best with the best that you can do.

Tell Us About Your Experience at NOVA; ie, professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met 😊

My supervisor Toni has been super supportive and has made my stay at NOVA great. She has given me resources via mentoring that has allowed me to soar in my courses, especially during the last two semesters. So, I am excited to continue to succeed during this fall and beyond.

My experience at NOVA was eye opening. I wish more people could see the food pantry for what it is. It is an underappreciated gem, and it needs polishing, but the gem is there. I understand that we are still in the COVID climate, but I would love for more people to come.

When a lot of people come to campus and come to the food pantry, I feel wonderful. In knowing that I helped somebody from 30 minutes to 30 seconds is the most important thing.

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring?

I plan on applying to a lot of HBCU’s, specifically, I want to go to Hampton University.

I’ve spent time in East Atlanta, Georgia. I have lived in zone six in Atlanta and spent a lot of time at Morehouse University and in Constitution Hill. I love traveling to where these big music scenes are and where my voice can matter.

My biggest inspiration in the music world so far is Nora Rahimian who is a consultant I have worked with who is focused on community organizing and helps me to figure out my landings. She’s definitely a big inspiration to not only help but to be vocal for the people that can’t be vocal.

After graduating from an HBCU, I definitely want to continue to help people. I could see myself buying vacant lots and turning them into a community garden. I want to teach people innovative ways to profits and opportunities, such as a garden. It’s to give the community food. I want to help as much as I can.

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