“Leaving home to attend college was one of the hardest things that I’ve had to do in my life. I had to leave my 84-year-old grandmother, who had cancer. I adore her. She’s probably the person that I’m closest to in my life. I’m a big family person, so, leaving was really difficult. But, my family motivated me to leave because they wanted me to get this experience.

In Canada, where I’m from, university athletics are not as big as they are down here. So, for me, being able to attend a university in the States is huge. This is all kind of new to me. I didn’t know anything about HBCU’s before I got here. But, I honestly love it. It’s very exciting because there’s always something to do. People are very enthusiastic, and there’s definitely southern hospitality here. Everyone is very genuine and nice. And, I love the weather down here. I do not miss the cold at all.

I only go back home for Christmas and summer. But, last semester, my parents came down a lot to watch my soccer games, which was really nice. And, they surprised me by bringing my grandma. I miss my family a lot, so seeing them inspired me and kept me going.”

– Carlee, freshman special education major from Alberta, Canada