During my senior year in high school, I became the first multicultural female battalion commander for the ROTC program at my school. The school is predominately white, and I transferred there my junior year. They take the ROTC program very seriously. Someone else was supposed to get the battalion commander spot, but I was really competitive and got the spot. He would say racist jokes, and he had the whole program against me trying to get my rank and trying to get me fired. They used to text racist things, but some people would screenshot them and send them to me. I would show it to my colonel.
My colonel was black, and because of the racism I experienced at that school, he thought that I should go to an HBCU. I was like, ‘What’s an HBCU?’ He started telling me about it. He knew Lieutenant Colonel Brookins here at JSU; my colonel was his mentor. He told me that I was going to Jackson State, and I said, ‘Okay.’
I really like it here. It’s different. I’d never been to a black school in the U.S. or lived in a black neighborhood. But, I like it here.”
– Lacey-Ann, freshman biology pre-med major from Florida, by way of Jamaica