IMG_1163The perfect word to describe my final semester of college would be “finally.” In addition to finally earning my degree, I finally had my first graduation ceremony after earning my high school diploma, as well as my associate’s degree. I finally became a member of the international non-profit organization, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. And I finally had an answer to the most asked question after finishing school: “what’s next?”

In high school I suffered from traumatic brain injuries while being an athlete on the varsity cheerleading team. I had to be homeschooled the majority of my high school career. I barely graduated on time because of the poor organization of the school system’s home education program for students unable to attend their public school. During this time, my grades, mental health, and motivation suffered. By the grace of God, I was able to finish my school work a few weeks after graduation and begin community college that fall. After two years, I transferred to North Carolina Central University,  where I earned my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations last Saturday. Getting to this point was not easy, but I worked hard enough to join two honor society’s, earn a degree of distinction, become the salutatorian, and graduate first in the mass communication department, all while working two jobs. I excelled much higher than my own expectations. I was able to go through four and a half years of school without a single C. At Central, I only received two B’s, earning my summa cum laude, 3.93 cumulative and final college GPA. I made it to the finish line, and I made every course count.

IMG_5124On November 12th, I became a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, the first greek-lettered sorority created for African American women. Words can’t describe the emotions felt with the initial information released in September. The wait was finally over. After going through the process, I now have 32 sisters (co-initiates) and over 290,000 sorors around the world I can count on to be there for me whenever needed. I am able to participate in projects designed for the betterment of woman and girls and encourage others to be best leaders and scholars they are capable of being. I am blessed to be a member of this wonderful network of talented, educated, women and to carry on the legacy of my mother and the organization, and to do so alongside my younger sister who also was newly initiated this fall.

IMG_1164“What’s next?” is a question I have been asked countless times and I am more than happy to tell the inquirer I am employed full time at Duke University Press! Since May, working at DUP has been amazing. My colleagues have always been extremely welcoming, friendly, understanding, and encouraging. I couldn’t imagine a better workplace.

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