Southern California Native, Anissa Dorres, signed her National Letter of Intent in April committing to Morgan State University for the next four years. Dorres is willingly leaving her life behind in sunny SoCal to pursue her dreams of playing division one softball at an urban institution. Although Dorres is now fully committed to being a Bear the pandemic has delayed her arrival. Being Filipino and Hispanic American choosing to attend a historically black college thousands of miles away from home is rare and is exactly what makes Dorres’ story so unique.
“I haven’t visited Morgan. At first, I was unsure of it but I knew that I would be okay on my own but I really wanted to experience something different so it wasn’t a very tough decision,” said Dorres.
What exactly would make a student travel across the country and attend a school where they don’t exactly “fit in” is a question a lot of people ask themselves when they see a non-black student attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), especially when they are coming from thousands of miles away. Dorres didn’t experience much discouragement when considering attending an HBCU and teammate Melissa Paz, also from California and non-black, shared her positive experiences at Morgan with Dorres and made her feel welcome.
“With Morgan being an HBCU, I think it made me more interested in the school because it’s something different than what I’m experiencing in California,” said Dorres.
Paz, similarly to Dorres, is a Hispanic American student attending an HBCU. Paz was able to facetime Dorres during her recruiting process and they were able to connect on a personal level. They had a strong connection and shared many similarities, both being from SoCal as well.
“I’m super excited to finally meet Anissa, she’s super sweet and I’m glad I got to call her and help her make her decision to commit to Morgan,” said Paz.
Dorres aspirations to explore and seek new experiences were far bigger than any fear or hesitations she had about attending Morgan State. Dorres has not even visited the Morgan State campus and has only been on the East Coast once for a school trip in eighth grade. Instead of walking across the campus with thousands of other students, racing from workouts to class, and practice. Dorres is attending Zoom university at home, like thousands of other students across the country.
“I’m still at home around the same people, stuck behind a computer screen. It just sucks because I’ve really been wanting the on-campus experience, as a first-year student. If I’m able to go out next semester I’m most excited to meet the softball team and for the most part, get to be independent,” said Dorres.
The coronavirus has delayed Dorres’ arrival to Baltimore and has left her wondering what exactly charm the city has to offer.
“I expected Morgan to be welcoming and fun. I planned to decorate my dorm with posters of my favorite artists, pictures of friends, I would probably add more to the room as time went on,” said Dorres.
In the meantime, Dorres is stuck in her home taking classes from the comfort of her bed.
Dorres is hopeful that she will meet her softball team next semester if the campus opens back up. Softball was a major factor when it came to Dorres’ decision to attend Morgan State. Dorres is a Catcher and Utility player who first caught Head Coach Larry Hineline’s attention through an email she sent last year around Christmas. Hineline responded to Dorres email asking if she had any interest in talking over the phone and learning more about Morgan State. Months later Dorres committed to play softball at Morgan State and the rest is history.
Despite your skin color, aspirations, or where you are from Morgan State is accepting of all students. Morgan State has allowed Dorres to have a new experience that she would not be able to get anywhere in California while also pursuing her athletic goals.