Graduates Share Their Grambling Experience

Preparation, Development Key for Next Chapter of Their Lives

GRAMBLING, LA – November 20, 2020 – We asked some of our graduating seniors to tell us how they came to Grambling State University and what this experience has meant to them. Here are their stories:

Tyra Muhammad | New Orleans, Louisiana

I am currently a graduating senior majoring in English with an African American concentration. I am a 46-year old divorcée and mother of five who returned to Grambling State University to complete my bachelor’s degree. I was previously enrolled but left in 1996 to continue raising my daughter with my then husband. I enrolled in a Certified Nurse’s Assistant program during that time and was the valedictorian of my graduating class.

I am a non-traditional student following in the footsteps of my parents and other family members who are also Grambling graduates; some of them have actually worked for the University. I have a daughter who graduated last May from Grambling and in a few weeks, my son and I will graduate together. His name is Elijah and he’s a Business Management major.

Jeancarlos Bonilla | Bronx, New York

I graduate in fall 2020 and my major is General Studies with a minor in history. What drew me to this major was that it’s broad and I can do a lot of things with it. After high school, I attended Lackawanna College because I wanted to attend a college close to home that was both cost-efficient and gave me enough exposure for professional scouts. After that, I decided to transfer to Grambling State University.

Grambling gave me a chance to get a bachelor’s degree and prepare me for my next step in life. Grambling was cost-efficient, down south and I could continue to play the sport I loved since I was 3. Also, the coaches are great because the program itself comes with a family atmosphere, and all the coaches have a lot of connections.  Next, with the tough schedule, Grambling baseball prepares players each year to be top 2 in the SWAC and send players to the pro level.

Grambling State has changed me because it made me work harder and become more humble. Now I don’t take anything for granted and have a blue-collar mentality. Some challenges I faced were just a culture shock and it being so much different than New York.  These challenges helped me stay focused on/off the field but helped me gain some new experiences, too.

At Grambling, I was able to continue my baseball career while being inducted into a couple of honor societies like Pi Gamma Mu, Phi Alpha Theta, and  the National Society of Leadership and Success.  One faculty member who had a profound impact on me was Dr. Belton, because she was always there for me since my first day at Grambling. The history department in general is full of great teachers and I really got to learn about history from a different perspective. Now that I earned my degree, I plan on continuing to pursue my master’s degree. Hopefully, this will help me get a job with a professional major league baseball team so I can work my way up in the front office department. One mantra I use to keep me focused is “Don’t wish for it, work for it.”

Janequia Alberty | Dallas Texas

I decided to attend Grambling State University because of the great experience that I had here at high school band camp. Being able to see what it would be like to stay in a dorm room and just get a glimpse of what it would be like to be a future student made my decision way easier.

I am majoring in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Drafting and Design. From a young age, I knew from the first time that I fixed the chain on my bike that I wanted to be an Engineer. There was an extreme passion that I felt when I took engineering classes in high school, so in college, I just knew that Engineering was what I wanted to do.

Grambling has taught me to keep it “classy” with everything that I do. This University holds itself on such a high pedestal, and it shows throughout the university from the board to the fans, there’s just something about Grambling! While here I served as the Vice President of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority from Fall 2019- Fall 2020.

Here at Grambling, there have been many people who helped me along the way, but Dr. Edwin Thomas who I met while visiting the high school band camp has really helped me out a lot. From the first day of classes, he has been an outstanding role model. The most memorable thing that he has told me was to do what I have to do now so that I can do what I want to do later.

Now I plan on getting a master’s in Civil Engineering, continuing my path of learning design and technology. As for my career, there are multiple things that I can do with this major, but I am choosing to design custom homes that will allow me to work flexibly and from the comfort of my own home. A saying that has been with me for a very long time and something that I try to live by daily is “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from mistakes.”

Shareena Ford | Monroe, Louisiana

I am from Des Moines, Iowa, and have lived in Monroe for almost 15 years. I chose to attend Grambling State University because I wanted to be among those who have been educated at a Historically Black College/ University. The 45-minute drive from Monroe is nothing when I consider what this school signifies to me especially now. My baby brother who recently passed from COVID-19 attended Grambling 10 years before me and was a big supporter of me “going back to school”.

Initially, I intended to get my degree in Elementary Education and I learned so much in my classes, but a few setbacks and sitting out for a semester allowed me to reevaluate and change my major to General Studies and minor in Psychology. My first year and a half, Dr. Payne, Dr. Proctor, and Dr. Ghongkedze were especially inspirational in helping me to never diminish my value and to keep pushing towards my goal even if I had to take a different route. When I switched over to minor in Psychology, Dr. Washington pushed for greatness and paid close attention to detail, which led me to strive to do better.

When I graduate from Grambling I plan on pursuing a career in Education as well as continuing my education in Psychology. What I love about Grambling State University is that when I look around at nearly all of my professors, I see me. I see people who can relate to my struggles and have had their own struggles, but kept pushing for greatness. As I have endured some doubtful moments in my education, I simply tell myself to “Stay calm and keep going” and on occasion, I have to remember to not compare myself to others.

While at GSU I was inducted into The National Society of Leadership and Success which was pretty awesome for my family because later in the year my oldest son was inducted at the Elementary level National Honor Society and my younger son not only wants to follow in our footsteps, but he said he wanted to be a Grambling Tiger.

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About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.