Living Authentically with Amber Scales
by Sara Massey
While sitting in Atlanta, Georgia anticipating the National Championship (roll tide), we could not help but think of Amber Scales, a Public Relations and Theatre double major with a minor in Political Science from Johns Creek, GA. Being right outside “A-Town,” Amber was in prime location for The Ship, however her campus excellence is why we really ‘checked her out.’
Amber is the third Director of Multicultural Affairs within the Student Government Association. Amber says that “the cabinet is very young, but (thinks) it is really starting to take shape this year.” She was a key player in working to get Dr. Taylor hired, the new Vice President and Associate Provost for diversity, equity and inclusion. Amber “loves campus and (feels) like this should be a place everyone can call home. All things diversity, equity, and inclusion; that’s my jam!” Amber and her cabinet just hosted the toy ball, where they donated over 600 toys for children in Tuscaloosa. On top of that, they are planning diversity, equity, and inclusion week for this upcoming semester. “We are hoping to branch out, and have that serve as more campus wide programming.”
Her passion for this stemmed from realizing that there were barriers up for certain students on campus. “Lucky for me, I was in the honors college and had wonderful mentors and friends, so I was plugged in in all the ways I needed to be. However, I quickly realized that there were students who were just as qualified as I was, but not aware of all the opportunities the University has. It was a lot about equity and making sure that campus offers equal opportunity.” When she arrived on campus, she could count on one hand the women of color that had a position of power at the University. “I knew how important it was for me to be able to see these women of power and have coffee with them to see that this was doable. It is about being available, and showing women, and people, of color that they can be successful.”
After being initiated in the fall of 2016 into the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Amber served on committees and as a helpful hand behind the scenes before being selected as the new President. She has such a heart for her sorority, and saw this as an opportunity to make a more personal impact.
Amber claims theatre to be her “side-gig.” She came in with her mind set on law school, but missed the performance side that theatre gave her in high school. She then joined the Alpha Psi Omega (APO) theatre honor society, which “changed her whole trajectory on campus.” She served as the philanthropy chair last year, and is now the treasurer. “Everything goes back to raising money for the West Alabama Aids Outreach,” including their monthly guerrilla theatre. She credits APO for her adding a theatre major, and says theatre “is a fun thing I do that takes people by surprise.”
You may also recognize Amber by the red suit she wears while walking backwards on the quad. She said that before the interview process, she believed Capstone Men and Women was a bit more fun and games, although she wouldn’t change her decision to join the group now. She was selected for the group starting her freshman year, and says she was thrown into another side of campus. “There is not a great way to explain what all goes into Capstone Men and Women, but it has been very rewarding and is such a joy to showcase the campus every day.”
Amber also serves as the Vice Chair of the Blackburn Institute, and a member of Lean On Alabama. She utilizes both organizations to not only better herself and the people around her, but rather the entire state of Alabama.
Even though we could brag on Amber all day long, we wanted to get to know a more personal side of her. She has a miniature schnauzer and an older brother, so claims there are three Scales siblings. She played four years of varsity lacrosse in high school, and even considered playing in college.
We can all agree that Amber is known for being passionate and outspoken. She picked truth over dare, saying that “it is so important to live your story authentically.” We saw this truth in every aspect of who Amber Scales is, and how she lives day to day. She inspired us all to put our best foot forward and chase after what we are most passionate about.