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How Attending an HBCU Helped Me Succeed in My Career

How Attending an HBCU Helped Me Succeed in My Career

I never questioned the fact that I would attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). Going to Southern University and A&M College was the next logical step in my educational journey. My older sister and brother had graduated from Southern. It was the same university that my parents talked with me about during my school days. The only question for me was whether I would start at Southern immediately after high school or wait until the fall semester.  

Going to an HBCU was inspiring. It was an honor to walk the grounds where leaders, scholars, and pioneers had paved a way for those just like me. The rich history of my university stamped in my mind and heart a sincere desire to do my best and represent my university as one of the best. 

Southern also provided plenty of fun moments. Attending our Saturday night football games while listening to the band and cheering our team to victory are some of my most memorable college experiences. I also made many friends. My closest friendships began when I was assigned to work with a group on a class project. We quickly evolved from study partners into friends. Eventually, we became sisters. They are my sisters to this day. 

Dr. Susan Thornton

I had fun, but digging my heels into my studies to prepare myself for life was one of the most rewarding pleasures of attending an HBCU. My trainings and internships prepared me to become not only the educator that my parents wanted me to be, but the teacher that I desired to be. During my internship, the principal asked me if I wanted to teach a class. To this day, I’m proud to say that I didn’t complete student teaching because I became a classroom teacher in the middle of that internship. I attribute my success to the classroom training and hands-on approach that my professors emphasized. They molded me into the educator I am today.  

Wearing my college paraphernalia, cheering at our sports games, and reminiscing about the irreplaceable experiences that I gained from attending my HBCU will always be part of my life. My love for Southern University and A & M College, Baton Rouge will never end!

Dr. Susan Thornton  
Dr. Thornton received her bachelor’s and two masters degrees from Southern University and A & M College, Baton Rouge. In addition to her other work, she continues to serve Southern by working as an adjunct professor at the institution.  

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