May 3, 2008, at 8 a.m. my life changed forever.
I was the first in my family to attend a four-year university and the first to graduate from college.
Finding out where I wanted to attend graduate school was the next step toward my goal.
I didnít want to go to any school in North Carolina.
I wanted to prepare myself culturally and diversify my college experiences.
I wanted to attend an institution that would give me the best opportunity to demonstrate my expertise in my field while giving me the best opportunity to prepare myself for my profession after graduate school.
I reflect back to January 2008, when I was sitting in the career services office.
Mrs. Stuckey, the career services consultant, provided a lot of support.
Getting into graduate school was my most important goal for the semester, and I would let nothing get in the way of my aspiration.
So I narrowed my list of schools to Penn, Pittsburg, Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, and Ohio State.
Then I got worried.
Of all these schools and their excellent programs; they are out of North Carolina!
I know I said all that stuff about getting out of North Carolina and experiencing diversity, but these schools are really far away from home.
I told my fraternity brother, Dr. Ferebee, about my quandary.
He told me about his transition from N. C. Central University to the University of Cincinnati and how he persevered while being completely away from his family and friends.
That gave me the nerve to conquer my fear and prepare myself for change.
One summer morning, a representative from the University of Michigan gave me a call and wanted to know why I hadnít made a choice yet.
He explained that there is a very close family community within the department at Michigan.
For me, family was a very important facet in choosing a graduate school.
When I entered the sloping hills and verdant green in 2004, I came to realize that at NCCU, family was a very important aspect of my life, from my brothers of the mighty Tau Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, to the lady who works in Eagle Landing mail room, Ms. Wendy.
When I arrived in Ann Arbor, I felt like a part of NCCU was here.
The university has organizations and programs that connect students with people of all professions.
Most students here have come from different parts of the world and are here for one ultimate goal: the pursuit of success.
So here I am, 800 miles away, saying thanks, NCCU, for equipping me with the tools I needed to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan.
Although I am in another part of the country, I have the NCCU foundation that will forever travel with me throughout my endeavors.