I Chose An HBCU But Prairie View A&M University Chose Me & Saved Me
Looking back on my high school career, I did not push myself to my full potential which is something I regret. Growing up in a small town where attending a PWI was traditional made me want to explore my options deep down.
Not being confident in my GPA and not knowing if it was good enough to even get accepted into any school for that matter was extremely stressful. I hesitated to almost the end of my senior year before I decided to further my education after graduation.
After a continuous four-year cycle of being kicked out of school and receiving lower than average grades, my counselor still saw something in me. He started admitting me into summer programs/camps that challenged me mentally, physically, and emotionally. I will always be thankful for Mr. Ronnie Helm at A&M Consolidated High school.
Out of all the programs I had previously attended, my parents and I received an email about a 7-week summer program that would seriously change my life forever. I get chills just typing about it, because I have no clue where my life would be if I did not agree to pursue the ACCESS Summer Program at Prairie View A&M University.
This academic boot camp was available to all Texas high school seniors that were interested in building a solid foundation from high school to college. Many students that attended were excellent students, somewhere underprivileged, and in my case some smart, but bad as hell. For almost two months which felt like an eternity, we lived in the freshman dorms, attended college courses, and took numerous educational field trips all while being mentored by current students of the University.
I was granted the opportunity to meet individuals from all over the state, who I still consider close friends no matter how much we have grown apart since then. I remember Mr. Helm telling me that I had a great SAT score, but a low GPA so without this program the chance of getting accepted was slim.
All throughout the summer, we had a leap start on speaking with any administrators on campus to better our chances at excelling our freshman year. Once again, I was still not sure if I would even be attending the school that semester. I kept it together and still did what I had to do.
Fast forwarding to the end of the 7 weeks, we attended a ceremony of completion, and everyone said their good-byes. It was a bittersweet moment because some people built friendships, got new baes, and some even transformed their entire image. It was almost as if everyone transitioned to their next level of maturity as a family.
I remember sitting at home and my mom walked in with a letter for PVAMU, remind you this is the middle of July and school would be starting August 16th. I opened a letter that read ” Congratulations! I am pleased to notify you of your Undergraduate Acceptance”.
I am not sure what I did the rest of the day, but it was LIT!
We had about 30 days to prepare for move-in day plus a few other people I grew up with were also going to be freshman that year which made the experience that much better. I say my mind chose an HBCU, but I definitely have to say PVAMU chose me.
A small piece of advice I would give anyone planning to attend a Historically Black College or University is that the opportunities for you to be great are right under your nose. Being around people that look like you will give you a better sense of pride in your culture. I can almost guarantee that once you make it to graduation day from your HBCU, your melanin will be on a another level and your mentality on life will be much stronger.
Steffon Johnson15 Posts
Steffon Dreshad Johnson better known as 'Official Steffon' is a 23-year-old Journalist from College Station, Texas who started his journey in 2011 as a determined undergrad at The Prairie View A&M University.Before earning his bachelor's degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in marketing, Official Steffon worked for 101X Jason and Deb Morning Show (Austin, TX), 101.9 The Beat (Bryan, TX), and K.A.Z.I 88.7 (Austin, TX) ' . Steffon strives to be a mogul in both the entertainment and business industry. He gets a rush out of being a gatekeeper by uncovering new information to reveal to his audience. Official Steffon is now dedicated to taking his radio show global by exceeding to grab exclusive interviews from the hottest icons in the game.He says he enjoys genuine vibes and strongly believes everyone has something to teach the next person.