Tyquise Edgerson’s experience at University Park has been far from typical. Edgerson, a senior majoring in telecommunications, started his Penn State experience at the Berks campus near his hometown of Philadelphia.
He first chose Penn State because he was looking for a school with a rugby program. Sports, like rugby and cross country, became his outlet in high school and the way he was able to express himself.
“ I was really shy, kinda the fat kid. I didn’t really do much and was always sitting in the corner. Even in high school, I didn’t do much until I started wanting to be more involved in my community,” said Edgerson.
He played for the North Philadelphia Nomads and joined his school’s cross country team.
“ I was one of the first people who were technically ‘obese’ to make it into the cross country finals,” said Edgerson.
During his time at Berks, Edgerson became extremely involved in the school’s step team, serving on the executive board during his time there. When he came to University Park, he was shocked that Penn State did not have anything similar.
“ I went into the Penn State Black community GroupMe and said ‘Hey, I’m trying to start a step team, I think this is something we really need up here. If you’re interested DM me, or like this message.’ Long story short, in March 2017, Dark Storm officially launched under the Black Student Union. And after a year, we branched out to become our own recognized organization,” said Edgerson.
Dark Storm is the step team Edgerson created, that started with only six people and recently performed at THON. However, this is not Edgerson’s only experience with bringing a traditionally black concept to Penn State.
Ty’s Kitchen was created in the Fall of 2018 while Edgerson was playing around on his Instagram stories.
“If you know me, you know I’m always posting food on Instagram and stuff. One day, I got a DM saying, I want some food from you,” said Edgerson.
People had suggested that he try to sell food on campus before, but Edgerson was wary.
“ I was thinking, ‘Y’all not really gonna support me,’ ” said Edgerson.
However, the concept took off at Penn State when he took the plunge. His first run did great, and Ty’s Kitchen has been going ever since.
During his time at Penn State, Edgerson experienced issues with his mental health, and they ultimately led to him taking a semester off, however, he sees this as a lesson to those struggling with their mental healths.
“I had to withdraw for a semester, and take a step back, but I was able to come back and thrive. Don’t give up even if you suffer a loss,” said Edgerson.
While Edgerson has not had the “typical” Penn State student experience, he believes he is better for it. However, none of this has taken away from his love for the school.
“Penn State has become my home away from home. Not even just in the black community, but in the community as a whole,” said Edgerson.