“Iwas the third person in my family to graduate high school. I was the first to graduate from college. And being a first-generation college student was hard. I didn’t have too many people to go to for guidance. I found myself turning to professors and other students on campus, a lot, like, ‘Ok. What do you do next?’ Especially with financial aid, I’d ask them, ‘How do you apply for scholarships?’

But my mom pushed me to come out of my shell and told me to not be afraid. She told me that being a first-generation college student doesn’t make me less than anyone else. I lost my mom during my junior year at Jackson State and that was hard. It was very challenging. I wanted to give up, but it’s like she came to me in a dream and said, ‘No. You’re going to finish this.’ So instead of balling up, crying, and dropping out, I used it as motivation to get me here.

That’s why I have nothing but positive things to say about Jackson State. They were the only college that gave me a chance to come in and prove myself, despite my low high school GPA. And that’s what led me back to pursue my master’s here. So the thing I want to leave with everyone who reads this is simple: It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.”

– Alexis, graduate business administration major from Jackson, Miss.