During February, Stephens College will highlight successful Black alumnae and students who have made an impact in Columbia and beyond.

Ryann Jenkins-Leflore (’24) is a Fashion Communication major from St. Louis, Missouri. Ryann is involved in Black Women Enlightened (BWE), which is a club and is considered a safe place for Black students. BWE values belonging and relationships with everyone who is involved in the club.


She ultimately chose to attend Stephens because of Stephens Life magazine, an opportunity for students to take responsibilities as a creative director, art director, graphic designer, photographer, or writer. She already had her mind set on a major, but Stephens Life was the icing on the cake. This, combined with her appreciation of the historic women’s college, made her stop her college search and apply to Stephens.


After graduation, Ryann aspires to work in publication or public relations. While at Stephens, she credits her professors for allowing her to tailor her assignments to her interests and pushing her to challenge herself. She appreciates the critiques she receives from her professors, like when they tell her that her creativity isn’t present or when she needs to improve in a certain area. Her professors are making sure that she is career-ready after graduation. Ryann also appreciates her advisor and professor, Kirsty Buchanan, for putting her in the appropriate courses to ensure she gets the best education possible at Stephens.


Ryann believes that Stephens's community is one you won’t find anywhere else. Stephens allowed her to embrace her true self. Ryann said, “When I stepped onto Stephens campus my first year, I subconsciously started becoming the person I wanted to be.” The professors and students have emboldened her to do more and be more. The Stephens community pushes and supports individuals to be the best they can be.


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