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Rising Leaders: Shahmar Beasley

BA Political Science & BA Anthropology ’19

Drexel Political Science Student Shahmar Beasley

Shahmar Beasley is a community leader in the truest sense. His internship experience — with two Pennsylvania state representatives, a Philadelphia judge and a criminal defense attorney — is matched only by his civic engagement. Between fundraising for underserved communities and studying for the LSAT exam, he also organized the Thomas R. Kline School of Law’s first District Attorney candidates debate as the past president of Drexel Democrats.

On His Motivation:

“Coming from a lower socioeconomic background, I know that it is not the norm for people in my community to receive the opportunities I have received. My goal is to expand the opportunities available to individuals from similar backgrounds, and to change their lives as others have changed mine.”

Leadership Highlights

  • Founder, Drexel Black Action Committee and Rotaract Club of Drexel University, which organize charitable and humanitarian projects
  • Testified at Philadelphia City Council on criminal justice reform and implicit bias training
  • Organized nationally televised prom dress giveaway for underprivileged girls in Philadelphia

On His Proudest Accomplishment:
“Being named a Forbes Under 30 Scholar felt like the perfect culmination of my efforts in volunteerism and political organizing. It reinforced that the work I am doing matters and has made a difference in others’ lives.”

On His Leadership Style:
“A leader’s job is to elevate individuals to perform at their best. After running three student organizations with over 300 students in total, I developed the self-awareness to know that I cannot do everything on my own. Empowering the group produces not only the best outcomes, but also enhanced group synergy, future leadership and overall morale.”

How He Plans to Change the World:
By promoting equitable opportunities as a criminal attorney and justice reform advocate

* This article originally appeared in the College of Arts and Sciences' Ask magazine feature story, “Rising Leaders.” For more Ask stories, visit

Prospective Students

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