Exceptional Black entrepreneurs, leaders, and experts in every profession have frequently come from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The variety of perks and advantages that Black women who attend HBCUs have access to are often not afforded by predominantly white institutions. Who can attest better to this than the graduates themselves, right?
Out of a pure desire to learn, develop and grow among professors and students who look like her, HBCU alumna Kassinda White chose to attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
“There are certain experiences that you can only get at an HBCU. HBCUs incorporate Black excellence in the college experience,” White shared. “Opportunities for internships and jobs are presented and highly encouraged at HBCUs because, at times, we are left out of conversations in other educational settings. Additionally, attending an HBCU helped to develop me socially, professionally, and academically because the environment around campus promoted that heavily.”
In search of an environment relatable to her life experiences and the battles that come with being a minority, Yolina Owens chose to attend Charlotte HBCU Johnson C. Smith University as her preference.
“I felt the university would set me up for success and would want the best for me. There, I experienced feeling a part of a legacy, building a strong foundation for my future and inspiring others to do the same,” Owens said.
Now in 2022, Owens takes pride in her decision. Knowing she made the right choice by attending an HBCU guided her to becoming the confident and booming woman she is today. It also taught her many valuable lessons about the importance of acceptance.
” I stand tall on the shoulders of my ancestors’ purpose, and I can do anything when faith and courage are applied. It prepared me to live with my eyes wide open; to live fully by exploring different options (professionally and personally),” Owens said. “Also, to walk into any room being proud of myself and to express my goals without feeling undervalued or less than because of the color of my skin.”
Johnyelle Lee is another NC A&T alumna who shares insight on attending an HBCU. She has become prosperous and resilient by accessing all the essential tools throughout her studies.
“Being taught by tough yet sensitive and caring African American professors were inspirational and instrumental in her personal development career goals,” Lee explained.
These three powerful women continue to push the culture forward and continuously use the skills they obtained at their respective HBCUs to help assemble a powerful network of Black women all throughout the United States.
As ambassadors for Brown Skin Brunchin’, White, Owens, and Lee are significant in networking with professional minority women to help them connect and work with one another. They dedicate themselves to a true sisterhood by constantly expanding their professional and personal circles to remain resourceful.
Founded in 2018, the Brown Skin Brunchin’ social group was created for Black and brown women who share a love of brunch and travel. With more than 70 chapters, its monthly brunches bring members together in a fun and casual setting.
Like the HBCU experience, being a member of Brown Skin Brunchin’ provides the opportunity to be among people who look like each other and can relate to and understand their unique journey navigating the world as a woman of color. Just like having the support of professors and classmates, you are surrounded by like-minded people who desire to see you win in all aspects of life.
“Both environments afforded me numerous opportunities to meet and connect with new people, share business ideas and life goals, and offer safe spaces for thoughtful and sensitive discussions about life,” Lee expressed.
Owens also says that her experience with Brown Skin Brunchin’ reminds her of the bond she shares with her sorority sisters.
“This bond is uniquely strong because we do not just communicate socially over brunch; we motivate each other by sharing inspirational thoughts and prayers to encourage one another to push through our personal and professional journeys,” she said.
She suggests that all current HBCU students find a mentor to help prepare for their future, someone who can offer encouragement.
Lee also reiterates the significance of networking and how imperative it is to overall success.
“Education is very important, but networking will grant exclusive opportunities that may not be available to others. Don’t be afraid to communicate,” Lee said. “Don’t lose yourself in social media. Nothing replaces face-to-face conversations and interactions, particularly with mentors and other influencers.”
For more information on HBCUs, be sure to check out www.thehundred-seven.org, and to get more familiar with Brown Skin Brunchin’, visit www.brownskinbrunchin.com.
Credit: Source link