Arlicia Etienne

High School Program Coordinator at Peace Community Center


Class of 2013, Sociology major

With a background in sociology, Etienne works at a nonprofit devoted to supporting youth in the Tacoma Hilltop neighborhood reach their full academic potential. As the program coordinator, she specifically oversees the day-to-day operation of the high school program. In addition to her work at the nonprofit, Etienne volunteers at her church with the youth group there and attends community events and conversations around community development.

How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?

My time at SPU sparked my interest in community development and social justice work. The John Perkins Center, Multi-Ethnic Programs, friends, advisors, and courses within the Sociology Department provided me with enough knowledge about what was going on in the world to ask the question, “What’s my role? What can I do?” Today, I’m continuing to explore those questions as I do similar work in my hometown.

Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?

Caenisha Warren, Tali Hairston, Susan Lane, and Contina Kemp (no longer at SPU). Attending a four-year private university as an African-American woman from a low-income family has its own challenges. These four walked with me throughout my college years encouraging me, challenging me, inspiring me, listening to me, advocating for me, and overall pushing me to reach the potential that I didn’t see in myself. The confidence that I gained from their support allowed me to break barriers that I didn’t even know existed and lead me to have a college experience that I could have never dreamed of.

What advice would you give to current SPU students?

Use your newfound skills and knowledge to positively impact your circle of influence. Always strive to work in a field that gives you life and brings life to others.