Back in April of 2012, I was a student at Albany State University (Albany GA). As a student I was very involved on campus as well as in the community. So every year the city hosts an Albany Area Black Expo, a week of events around celebrating education, businesses, and new ventures. One of the events they always host during this week is the Women of Purpose Luncheon. There is celebrity speaker at this event and awards for women of ambition, empowerment, scholarship virtue and vision are awarded.
In 2012, I knew nothing about this event or the awards. My mentor (Kaleb Briscoe) called me one day and told me she was getting an award and she wanted me to come to the luncheon with her. I was super proud of her, so of course I planned to be there. Like a day or two before the event she called me again and was like, “make sure you press your hair and look really cute, our picture will be in the newspaper.” I’m thinking to myself, “why would I be in the picture, I’m not taking no picture for the paper.” The morning of the event I still knew nothing about the awards she is receiving or anything, I just go. With my newly natural puff (hair), no necklace, and no make-up. I put on a nice suit but I wasn’t looking my best at all. I mean I was going to support my mentor, not win the best dressed award.
When I get to the luncheon, we get seated. There is no one there for my mentor but me. So I asking about her mom and friends, like where are they? Aren’t they coming too? The event starts and I am shocked to see that my Advisor and role model Ms. Wilson is the host of the event. She introduces the speaker, Jasmine Guy. I sit in amazement. Whitley from A Different World!!!! I loved that show. I don’t even remember what she spoke about all I know is it was Jasmine Guy speaking right in front of me. The beautiful dancer and actress is in the same room and I am. Felt like a dream. After her speech, the award ceremony began. Ms. Wilson started to introduce the award for Women of Ambition, Kaleb looks at me a smiles. So I’m sitting up tall ready to give the biggest hand clap I can give in a formal setting as congratulations to her. Ms. Wilson is giving her all types of wonderful compliments as she introduces the award. It never dawned on my on me that she was describing me. I’m focused on Kaleb. So as she calls MY NAME for the award, I looking at Kaleb like girl go get your awards, everyone’s clapping. And Kaleb is looking at me like girl she called your name. I’ve never been surprised like this before. I mean I instantly got hot and turned red-ish, I was even shaking. Like I walked across stage looking at her like “why didn’t you tell me”. I was so nervous that when they put the award in my hand, I dropped it. The award… I dropped it, right before the picture. Embarrassing!!!
But at the end of the day, this was one of my most memorable college moments. At this moment, I realized that others see all the hard out I was putting into my academics, extra curricular and community engagement. Truly one moment I’ll never forget. And I got to take a picture with Jasmine Guy! My mommy and Granny were jealous when I called to tell them what happened. Well not so much jealous, but more Proud of me.