Growing up as a young African-American female in California, Richmond, California, to be exact, I always I wanted to leave the economically challenged inner city I called home to make a better life for myself. I knew the only way this would be possible was if I pursued higher education. Not many people growing up in my neighborhood went to college, and when they did, they stayed in-state. I wanted to be different from most of my peers and not only go out of state, but even better, go to an Historically Black College/University (HBCU). I am now a freshmen at one of the top HBCUs in the nation, Tuskegee University (TU). There are many different factors that helped me choose TU to be my home for the next four years, but for the purpose of this essay I will focus on three; the professors and staff, the supporting atmosphere, and the diversity.
I believe that all HBCUs around the world have some of the most caring professors, faculty, and staff members known to man. Most of the teachers and professors here have a mission to help young African-American men and women prosper and to ensure that they make a difference in the world. They go out their way and provide their talents, skills, and abilities to help students be all that they can be and more. Now this is does not mean that predominately white institutions (PWI) do not have caring professors, faculty, and staff members, however, I think that they are more commonly found at HBCUs because of the amount of students.
When attending an HBCU, students are joining a family. The atmosphere is extremely supportive from the staff to the students. There is always someone there to help with pretty much anything when needed. There are many alumni programs just for HBCUs that will help financially as well. This makes it so that no one feels left out and like their back is against the wall with nowhere to go or no one to turn to. Also, it is likely that when entering the real world, students will run into other fellow alumni from either their university or from one of the other 105 historically black college/universities in the United States.
The diversity of HBCUs may surprise many people. A lot of us expect HBCUs to be like our black neighborhoods and black schools however, that’s not necessarily the case. There are students of many different races and nationalities from around the world that attend historically black colleges every year. The majority of the student population has been, now is, and I’m sure always will be African-Americans, nonetheless, level of diversity continues to rise at HBCUs.
Overall I feel as though historically black collages and universities give young African-American students a safe place to learn, grow, and empower one another. I made one of the best decisions of my life by choosing an HBCU for my undergraduate years and more importantly, by choosing Tuskegee University.