Khianna Calica and her Two Cents

DSC_0062 As I look back on my last four years at college, I realize that what I'll take away the most is learning the art of balance. College is a juggling act at first– staying on top of school work, being involved and somehow having a social life on top of it all. If you need any pointers, look no further than junior Khianna Calica. You would never know how much the bubbly Television, Radio & Film major is juggling, because she does it all with a flashing smile on her face– plus she looks damn good doing it too.

Not only does Khianna work for SU's Office of Residence Life, serve as Vice President of Programming and Education for Alpha Phi, she is also in the process of applying for Officer Candidate School for the Marine Corps to name a few. On top of everything else, she also took Hendrick's Chapel by storm Wednesday evening with her event Making Sense of Their Two Cents.

While in the midst of scribbing her book (yes, she's also writing a book), Khianna came down with a case of the writer's block blues. Instead of skirting away and throwing in the manuscript, she devised a plan to not only inspire her writing, but to inspire others in the process. All of this culminated in her decision to organize this motivational evening.

What's "two cents" exactly? Well, Khianna explains how her ROTC mentor pulled her into his office one day and handed her two pennies, so that she would always have his "two cents." To Khianna, that moment symbolized that his wisdom would always be with her. She shares, "After this experience, I realized it was important for me to collect and retell the 'two cents' of those individuals around me."

So she did exactly that. Dressed in a well-fitted black dress and popping red lipstick, Khianna strutted onto the stage as she introduced her peers she had recruited to take the stage and share their two cents. A collection of students faced the enthusiastic crowd as they imparted their intellect and wisdom, sparking the audience to feel a sense of enlightenment. A slew of talented SU students took the stage, performing a variety of talents. From junior Laura Sachetti's rendition of "Ordinary People" to Mason Paul's slam poetry, the crowd went wild. Other acts presented their two cents in different forms, such as sculpture, spoken word, self-portraiture and more. To get a glimpse at the performers, peep at our gallery from the evening below.

When recruiting, I thought of talented people who may share differing identities. I wanted this to be an event for everyone.

As each talent stood in the spotlight, a sense of togetherness ignited in the room. It was a moving evening as the performers talked about their raw emotions, adversities they have faced, and obstacles they've overcome. The event truly opened a conversation about the beauty of communicating, learning how to talk about what we feel and why we feel, and giving ourselves meaning.

Khianna hopes that people leave the event "feeling as though the two cents shared could be a tool of empowerment in their lives. A tool that will allow them to strive to be the best versions of themselves."

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