Attending Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) as a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) was a transformative experience that greatly impacted my personal and professional journey. As one of 32 members of my family to attend a HBCU (no member of my family has attended a PWI for undergraduate studies) our history and legacy is peaked on that educational mountain.
ECSU’s status carries a rich heritage and legacy of academic excellence and social progress in the State of North Carolina, fostering a sense of pride and connection to the African American community.
The close-knit community at ECSU nurtures personal growth and success. Students, faculty, and staff form strong relationships, promoting a sense of belonging and support.
My personal experience equipped me with valuable skills in diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency, which directly align with the CDC’s mission to address health disparities and promote health equity among underserved populations. The collaborative and community-oriented environment fostered at my HBCU has also prepared me to effectively work within interdisciplinary teams at the CDC, where collaboration and cooperation are essential in addressing complex public health challenges. Here in my current role as a Deputy Branch Chief I must have an emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, and research skills all provided at my HBCU. This life skill provided me with a strong foundation for analyzing data, conducting epidemiological investigations, and implementing evidence-based interventions at the CDC.
Attending an HBCU allowed me the celebration and embrace of African American culture, history, and our many traditions. ECSU fostered that cultural awareness, promoting diversity and enriching the educational experience all while not having societal pressure forefront in your face as a minority male. Our 101 HBCUs are renowned for their commitment to academic excellence. ECSU’s faculty members are knowledgeable experts in their fields who provided me with a personalized attention and mentorship that allowed me to succeed and become class President.
My Leadership roles at ECSU’s environment cultivated my overall leadership developmental skills and provides career opportunities. Through internships, research experiences, and alumni networks, ECSU equipped me and fellow students with the necessary skills and networks for professional success. Thus attending ECSU as an HBCU allowed me to embrace my heritage, build a strong academic foundation, and develop the skills needed for professional success. This transformative experience continues to inspire me to contribute meaningfully to society as a proud member of an educational process set up to give minorities like myself opportunities to achieve.