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From South Central to historically Black Colleges and Universities

By Jordan Adway

Jordan Adway

A lot of people asked me why did I go so far away for school when there are so many great schools here in California and or closer. I thought long and hard about it and then when I looked around at some of my closest friends who all grew up with me in South Los Angeles, I said I wanted others to know about their experiences where they currently attend. Follow me on a Historical College Journey…..

My name is Jordan Adway, I am a Junior at the Illustrious Stillman College located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama., I am majoring in Criminal Justice and my ultimate goal in life is to become a Supreme Court Justice. When first arriving at Stillman I immediately experienced a culture shock, never did I think I would feel out of place, but I did. I have always been a Cali Girl. I travelled on vacation to different states, but never did I stay longer than a week or two.

My freshman year at Stillman opened my eyes to a lot of different aspects of the “College Life” as a result I was given the distinguished honor of being in the Honor Society where I later became the campus President. I am a member of Enactus Academic and Business Organization, Virtuous Elite Social Club, Pre Law Association, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. I also serve as a Head Residential Assistant in the Residential Association. I was able to enhance my oratorical presence when I was nominated by the Student Body to speak at a rally to save staff positions. I was so busy being involved that I totally forgot about my feelings of being home sick. I totally recommend attending a HBCU for the following reasons: 1- You are able to focus on your school work and you won’t have the distractions from your hometown 2- Because most HBCU’s are small, the class size is also small, so you are not lost in the crowd and the Professors know you by name and last but not least 3- You become one of the family, since my freshman year the Stillman staff have treated me like their daughter and that gives my parents comfort every time they send me back. I would not change my decision about coming to Stillman not one bit. This has been an amazing journey, and it’s not over yet…. Stillman Tiger…almost finishing Chapter One, anticipating Chapter Two.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities are more than just African American attendees and African American administrations. HBCUs consists of strong, like-minded, intellectual individuals who want to succeed. Attending an HBCU means you are gaining a long lost, newly found family. My name is Promise Bell and I am a second year Psychology Pre-Med student from Los Angeles, California, attending the illustrious Hampton University. I can proudly say I love my HBCU. While attending one of the 101 colleges and or universities you’ll find everlasting friends and family. I have a family away from home here at Hampton who not only push me to succeed but provide various resources and opportunities for me to succeed. It is an experience like no other. That is why I love my HBCU. As a black community, we want more of our minorities to attend not only just college but Historically Black Colleges and Universities. More students should attend HBCUs to continue to make the superstitions of our Black community false. HBCUs breed thousands of Lawyers, Doctors, Scientists, Journalists, Engineers, and more. We as African Americans no longer earn degrees to get a job, we earn degrees to be and run the job.

- Promise Bell

Hampton University

HBCUs provide a sense of appreciation that no PWI can offer, no matter how inclusive and close the minority community is. Being surrounded by educated professors that look like you, people who look like you that are all motivated to succeed and get an education— are two aspects that cannot be granted anywhere else. HBCUs provide inevitable growth and opportunities specifically for the students. Also, the events and discussions consistently on campus, always surround serious discussions that are easily ignored amongst all communities. Yes, the parties are nice. Yes, fried chicken Wednesday’s are something to look forward to— on top of Wednesdays being well dressed Wednesdays. Nevertheless, those are just the small aspects to the wonderful foundation that a HBCU provides. Unlike other non-hbcu’s, HBCUs prepare you for life outside of college. Life that doesn’t love you. Life that isn’t catered to you. Furthermore, a life not designed for you to win. Though, through all of this, it teaches you how to navigate and be on top. To be a beautiful, successful, and powerful person.

- Aretha Bernard

Miss Breaking The Cycle 18-19

Attending a HBCU is an experience that lasts a lifetime. From the people you meet to the professors, down to city/state your HBCU is in. Going to a historically black college/university is the best decision anyone could make. I love my HBCU for its diversity & support not just on campus but off campus as well. Going to a HBCU makes you feel comfortable and at home. You can learn so much from your professors that doesn’t just pertain to school. They teach you about life and make it their mission to be sure you succeed. I will never regret my decision to attend the Illustrious Clark Atlanta University and can't wait to give back to my university as they gave to me.

-Statia Tyner

Miss Cali Club 16-17,17-18

Clark Atlanta University

My name is Alexander Black, a junior Psychology major with a Business Administration minor at Morehouse College. Morehouse has provided me the opportunity and an environment that has allowed me to continuously grow and develop. Before arriving at Morehouse, I was unsure if I had made the best decision. However, since the first week of New Student Orientation (NSO), I was convinced and welcomed a community of brothers with similar aspirations. It is a blessing to be in an environment, full of African American young men who want to be great and want nothing less than success. Fortunately, Morehouse is not the only school that offers this experience. Each HBCU offers different things, but majority are institutions that have the ability to develop successful African American students.

Historical Black Colleges & Universities serve as an entity that makes history. Collectively, they provide African American individuals the opportunity to create their own narrative in their own environment. The comfort and security a students feels at an HBCU is unique and genuine. More students should consider attending an HBCU because it allows you unlimited access to continuously and consistently grow and develop. Not only will you learn more about myself, you will learn more about your culture. Historical Black Colleges & Universities give you the opportunity to get comfortable internally and meet individuals from all across the world. A community of genuine individuals that will remain in your corner for the rest of your life are found on these campuses.

-Alexander Black

Morehouse College

I love HBCUs and will forever be greatly for the support given at an HBCU because it has completely changed my entire outlook on life. When I first arrived on campus I honestly wasn’t sure of what to expect being a first generation college student in my household. I was astounded by the amount of black excellence and the will to win all around me shown by people with the same skin color as me. Seeing those things only motivated me to push myself to limits I’ve never reached before and it's paid off dearly with my overall GPA through my first three semesters being a4.0. The smaller class sizes and the teacher student relationships that are built during each semester all helps me strive throughout the hard times that life throws at me. I don’t feel like “Just another student” here, I KNOW that majority if not all of my professors want to see me succeed once I leave here and the opportunities and networks that I have been exposed to have made me forever grateful that I chose this school. This is the type of love and support that you can’t get at most majority schools, I commonly hear my peers telling me, “I should’ve just went to an HBCU because they don’t care about me hear.” I’m not big on forcing people to go to an HBCU if that's not what they want to do, but what I have been doing is putting the idea in a lot of younger students mind because for the longest I didn’t even know what an HBCU was. I’m forever grateful that my counselor introduced me to the common black app because even though I started my applications late, I still had options to go all across the country. Before I went to college I had never been on a plane, honestly other than a Texas trip when I was eight, Vegas was the furthest outside of Los Angeles that I had been. I’ve now traveled through every state in the south except Florida. Go travel, network, and enjoy the black excellence awaiting you.

-Chayel Flowers

Grambling State University

HBCUs are not just colleges for black students but a higher institution of education that provides young African Americans an opportunity to start their journeys as adults. With over 101 public and private campuses, historically black colleges and universities have created successful and prideful students who graduate these institutions eagerly ready to dominate the world. Prior to the Civil War there were no education systems for blacks yet thanks to pioneers such as Richard Humphreys, the first and oldest HBCU was created in 1837, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. Because of pioneers and founders of the HBCU movement, it has promoted the success, pride, excellence, intelligence and power of the black mind and plays a very important role in African American culture. Why are they so important, some may ask? Well, because these places of higher learning help the youth find their voices in the world and help guide them on the path of perseverance, dedication, and strength. It also gives students the chance to express pride in their own people; it displays the idea that African Americans are more than the adversity they face and are worthy of the same opportunities as anyone else.

My name is Iman Muhammad and I am currently a sophomore at the Illustrious Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. I currently serve as the Sophomore Class Queen for the Class of 2021 on Norfolk State’s Royal Court. I also am apart of many different organizations as well as being a x4 time member of the Dean’s Lists; I am no stranger to success. I am so very grateful for the chance to experience such an opportunity of being a student at an HBCU. To walk on campus and see faculty and staff, professors, janitors, cafeteria staff, and students who not only look like me but understand where I come from make the experience that much more exciting. My institution has helped mold me into the woman I am right now and will continue to mold me until the day I graduate and walk across the stage. Norfolk State’s motto is “We see the future in you”, and though it applies to my school I believe that applies to all HBCU students as well. The founders and pioneers of these schools have created a blueprint for us students to continue the legacy of black excellence.

-Iman Muhammad

Miss Sophomore 18-19

Norfolk State University

I love my HBCU because it is the place where everybody is somebody. I am a transfer student from Florida Southern College (a PWI) and the students there made me feel like a science experiment. As soon as I got to Grambling I felt at home. The faculty and students were welcoming and didn’t make me feel out of place. Our professors show a personal interest in our success unlike at FSC. Grambling is a family, a home away from home. Grambling is definitely molding me into the educated woman I aspire to be.

-R’reon Robinson

Grambling University

HBCUs cultivated black minds when other institutions did not believe that black people were capable of being educated. It is important that we support HBCUs because for many years, they were they were the only schools supporting us. They created a space that strayed away from stereotypical black narratives of ignorance; and instead reflected environments for educated black people to learn with and from one another. From goals and ambitions; to lifestyles and practices, HBCUs are largely responsible for the growth of our people. HBCUs taught our ancestors how to successfully adapt and function in higher society. They are a symbol of black prosperity and advancement. They teach us our history beyond textbooks, slavery, and the civil rights movement. Therefore, it is imperative to show gratitude to HBCUs because they were built for our progression.

-Trenyce Williams

Tuskegee University

My name is Camia Magee and I am a second year Social Work Major at the illustrious Tuskegee University. Attending a Historically Black College has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Coming from South Central Los Angeles it has been a blessing to say I made it out of my previous environment to this is amazing institution, it is the beginning of my success story. Historically black colleges are known for producing some of the most successful African American doctors, lawyers, dentists, entrepreneurs and many other careers that make the world go around. There is so much history on my campus, my dorm is the same hotel that George Washington Carver stayed in and I live across the street from where Booker T. Washington once lived. I was once hesitant when it came to choosing my future college and attending Tuskegee University, the thought of being so far away from home once scared, I’m glad I overcame my fears. The professors, dean of students and the head of judicial services made it clear that if I ever needed anything they will assist me in anyway possible! One of the best feelings I’ve encountered here at Tuskegee University.

I believe that everyone should experience a HBCU journey. The love and support here has definitely made my first 2 years of college more successful than I expected. They’ve provided resources from tutoring sessions to a food pantry on campus for students who may need some assistance. Tuskegee University is my home, although it is very different from Los Angeles, California I am blessed to say I’ve found comfort here. I could never thank Mother Tuskegee enough for the opportunities I’ve received and the experience she’s given me thus far. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, I am a proud product of a Historically Black College! The legacy starts now.

-Camia Magee

Tuskegee University

Attending a historically black university (Dillard University) changed my life. Coming from Los Angeles to New Orleans was a big transition for me but a GREAT one. People discredit HBCUS a lot, but in reality these schools offer the most aforementioned top-notch education you’ll find. However, delivered by clever accomplished and caring professors/ faculty. I encourage more students to attend a HBCU because many offer classes,clubs, and extracurricular events that other schools usually don’t offer. Students will get a chance to explore and learn more about the African American culture/history.

I love HBCU’s because there’s an atmosphere of community and collaboration among the students. Everyone is family, even though everyone is from different states and cities. Professors and administrators will be there to help and guide you throughout your college education. I also encourage students to attend historically black colleges and universities because being apart of student body exposes you to a lot of professional people in your field. For example, I major in Criminal Justice. I’m apart of the Criminal Justice club which gives me a opportunity to do mock trials, internships, fundraisers, trips, and more. HBCUs care about you & want everyone to succeed in life. I love my HBCU.

-Jermela Booker

Dillard University

An HBCU is not just a school to get a degree, it’s an experience. My name is Sydne Wade- Gardner and my HBCU Texas Southern University taught me that. I’m in my second year at TxSU and the experience just keeps getting better. I love my HBCU because with it being predominantly black it gives off a vibe like no other. You feel safe and at home. Speaking to people you know from across the campus and feeling confident knowing that the people around you are there for you and they know how it feels to be in your shoes.

More students should attend HBCU’s because it teaches you things about life that even a book or professor couldn’t teach you. It’s a safe haven for the colored community whom others already don’t want to succeed. I recommend attending an HBCU because it is a opportunity that opens your mind and life up to things that you would not be able to receive at a PWI.

-Sydne Wade-Gardner

Texas Southern University

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