Huston-Tillotson University Biology student Tenaishia Morris travelled quite a distance to study at an HBCU.
Encouraged by her mother to leave Wisconsin and go to Texas for better opportunities, Tenaishia's research findings lead her to Huston-Tillotson, one of the HBCU supported by The United Methodist Black College Fund.
"After visiting and being accepted into HT, I realized that I love this college because it's a small university on a quiet hill but surrounded by the beautiful downtown Austin," says Tenaishia.
"Children influenced me to pursue a career in Biology. My career goal is to become a Pediatrician because I believe that children have to take care of us one day so it's my job to keep them healthy so they can be healthy enough to take care of me."
Even though is pursuing a degree in biology her favorite class is English. "I love being able to find new ways to improve my writing ability. It's always hard to figure out what I'm going to write about but once I start writing, my hand doesn't stop and my thoughts continue to flow."
Although the requirements for entrance at HT was not difficult, Tenaishia found the Bilogy program was a learning experience. This program introduced her to a world she never knew through hands on lab classes and research projects. "The Biology program opened my eyes to a lot of things and I do not regret choosing to be a part of it."
"Biology is one of the most diverse majors because it introduces you to hundreds of jobs in the medical field. My major also helped me become a STEM research scholar. That's why having a Biology major is not only unique but exciting as well."
Tenaishia is very active at HT. She is part of a peer network called SNMA, a biology major group that come together to look for events and opportunities for engagement. Thanks to an advisor, Dr. Amanda Masino, she was able to participate in a summer internship on campus.
Tenaishia admits that she has challenges in this field. She regrets not taking any science courses in high school but she knew it wouldn't be easy and her determination pushes her forward. "At times I get discouraged and feel less advantaged than others but I remind myself that I have a career goal that I need to accomplish so I continue to study and work hard."
"If someone wanted to become a Biology major or enter the medical field, I would tell them to never underestimate the things that you can do."
Tenaishia plans to become a Pediatrician that specializes in child abuse. "I also want to open my own boys and girls club where children can come and have fun and be educated about their health."
"The best piece of advice related to my field of study that I have received is get you a lab coat and hang it in your closet. Every time you feel discouraged, look at that lab coat and remind yourself that you're going to be a doctor."
Lladale Carey, web content producer, United Methodist Communications
This story was written from an interview by Joelle Yates at ValuePenguin
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Black College Fund provides financial support to maintain solid, challenging academic programs; strong faculties; and well-equipped facilities at 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Black College Fund apportionment at 100 percent.