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The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

Umoja staff member provides aid to campus and beyond

Sharmarke Holif
Malik Amos, Student Personnel Assistant for the Umoja Diop Scholar Program, works at his desk in the Umoja Center. The center is located at L-215 on the first floor of the library and provides community to African American and other students.

Malik Amos has supported students of the Umoja Diops Scholars program for three years while being a professional piano and organ player for the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Fairfield.

Amos, a student personnel assistant on campus, said he views making music as a form of therapy.

“It was a stress reliever for me,” Amos said. “For me, music is a form of communication to explain or express my feelings, so whether I was stressed or happy, whenever I began playing it was like a burden was lifted off of me.”

Amos’s brother Keyon Amos, said that Malik Amos has been involved in music since childhood.

“As a child, Malik loved playing instruments and especially the piano,” Keyon Amos said. “Not only does he play piano, but also the drums, saxophone and making music tracks as well.”

Keyon Amos said Malik’s compassion and desire to go out of his way to help people is just one part of what makes him great at his job.

“Malik is a person dedicated to his craft and always wants to make a difference.
He would not only help me out with my schoolwork when I was struggling, but also look out for anyone else who needed him too,” Keyon Amos said.

Malik Amos has continued to make a difference on campus as an SPA for the Umoja Diop Scholars Program, which is a program that provides resources for Black students according to the Umoja Community website.

As a child, Malik Amos developed a brain tumor that was removed when he was in second grade. Overcoming cancer has shaped who he is today, he said.

“It was crazy because they gave me X-rays years later and the doctors showed a piece of my brain was missing,” Malik Amos said. “I believe it was my frontal lobe where they took the tumor out.”

Malik Amos, a Vallejo native, said a highlight of his life was joining the Umoja program when he was a student at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill.

“Umoja definitely put gas in my tank,” Malik Amos said. “Being a part of a community was a big moment for me because I was able to achieve self actualization and be more confident.”

Malik Amos said he has big plans for the future.

“I’m going to go into my master’s program in the fall of 2024 to be an academic counselor, so it would be great if I could be one at CRC,” Malik Amos said. “But I also want to leave my comfort zone and be a professor, and maybe go up the ladder to join the administration.”

Malik Amos lives in Sacramento with his wife, the Cosumnes River College Professor of Ethnic Studies Kendra Amos. They met at Diablo Valley College. She said Malik Amos is a talented and highly sought after musician.

“Malik was definitely gifted with music,” Kendra Amos said. “His piano teacher noticed that Malik wasn’t following along with the order of the lessons, but that he was surpassing them. He has had opportunities to play live recordings for many artists, so he is in high demand as a musician in the Bay area and Sacramento as well.”

Kendra Amos said he goes above and beyond to help people in need.

“Many times when someone has needed a musician for a funeral and they could not find anyone else, Malik would offer his services without pay, just to help someone out,” Kendra said.

She said that not only does Malik Amos help people with his music skills, but also his technology skills.

On her first day teaching, Kendra Amos said that she had technical difficulties with her computer. “I could have called for help using the phone numbers on the side of the computer, but I immediately went to Malik instead. He fixed whatever problem was with the computer which made me feel supported and relieved.”

Malik Amos said that he is motivated by his experiences as a college student and wishes to help people who were struggling like he was. He said that he is empathetic to people who have gone through hardship.

“Whether people are going through financial or family issues, Umoja helped me get accepted for scholarships and provided tutoring so I could succeed,” Malik Amos said. “I want to offer struggling people the same support and resources that I gained.”

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About the Contributor
Sharmarke Holif
Sharmarke Holif, Staff Writer
Sharmarke Holif is a staff writer for the Connection newspaper. He joined the Connection because he wanted to gain experience in journalism. He wants to transfer and become an investigative journalist. He loves fantasy, magic and J.R.R. Tolkien books.

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