It took a great amount of courage in my decision to not only move away from home bound for the college experience, but also to willingly allow myself to be a part of an experience that would challenge me to grow out of my own comfort zone. Although I greatly valued my education, I could not fathom that the depth of my development and learning would come as a result of my choosing a Historically Black College/University of higher learning (HBCU) after initially transferring from Miami University of Ohio, a Predominately White Institution of higher learning (PWI). In my choosing a HBCU, I didn’t realize the true value of being a part of a family tradition until I set foot on what would be a life changing experience on the campus of Wilberforce College in Wilberforce, Ohio. As a result of my being a student at a HBCU and preserving both a family and African American experience, I have learned that in order for each generation of students, particularly of color to continue striving for academic success, that HBCU’s will need to maintain high academic standards that are competitive to PWI’s (Predominately White Institutions) of higher learning, preserve the historical origin of HBCU’s, and incorporate values that are relevant to the times and needs of the current student populations.
During my initial college experience at Miami University where by their term, I was considered a minority student. However for most of my high school years of always being one of the few students of color in my classes, and being raised around white people seemed to be the norm. To be honest, I had never really been around a lot of black people outside of the church until I had the opportunity to attend Wilberforce College.
In the fall of 2001, I arrived on the campus of Wilberforce for the first time and was so excited about returning back to school unbeknownst to me that I would be spending the next four years of...