Story 6 of 20: "I'm All In" by Devon Fredrick
I was a “just get by” sort of person in high school. Before Umoja, college just wasn’t on my mind. My parents didn’t go to college. I knew it was important, but I didn’t see myself as the type of person who would get accepted. Then, after I got my ACT scores, I expected rejection. The Umoja Seminar teacher and staff didn’t let me sit and be upset; they motivated me. Just because I made some mistakes like not getting the best ACT score, they reinforced to me that I was capable.
My senior year, they took me on college tours, and I talked to students on campus and college started to feel more realistic. For the first time, I was certain that I wanted to go to college. It’s all about how much you’re willing to try. There will be challenges. The staff wouldn’t let me give up. This also meant me and the school staff doing a whole lot of calling to college admissions offices asking them to give me a chance... Finally, I got the phone call I was waiting for on the Thursday before the first day of classes my Freshman year, "Pack your bags, you've been accepted to Southern University and A&M College at Baton Rouge!"
Now, I am a junior at SUBR studying mass communications with a focus on broadcast journalism. I write for the school newspaper, and I am taking my third semester of French (French doesn’t come easily to me and it's the one class I have to study for literally every day, but I keep at it).
As an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) with a rich history, I have classmates whose parents and even grandparents studied here and knew they were headed to SUBR from when they were little. I didn’t have that experience, but I am just as proud to be a Jaguar. I look forward to graduating with the class of 2019.
The most valuable lesson I learned from that challenging time of transitioning from high school to college is that anything is possible if you will it to be. There have definitely been challenges in college too, but I have made up my mind that you can settle or you can go all in. I’m all in.