Involvement is key to success

Hello, Tigers! Although you may have adapted to the swing of things, allow me to welcome you to an exciting semester at Grambling State University. To those experiencing your first college semester, I assure you that it is time to work. Though college is a time of change and experience, do not lose focus of its purpose.

I am Jamesia Leonard, your 2010-2011 Miss Junior bringing you greetings from Lafayette

I attended Northside High School where I participated in The Engineering Academy, marching band and now the national winning NHS Drill S.Q.U.A.D which I hold dear to my heart. While a member of such a phenomenal step team, I held the position as its spokesperson.

It was then that I discovered my passion for communication. Here I am today, at what will one day be my alma matter, majoring in mass communication with a focus in broadcasting.

As I matriculate in such a wonderful field, I choose to be very involved in my campus and community.

I am a member of The Society of Distinguished Black Women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and active in the Student Government Association while representing the Class of 2012.

It is vital that you enjoy the time you have here at Grambling. It has been stated by many that college is one of the best times of your life.

While in school you learn to accept diversity, change yourself for the better and gain wisdom through everyday experiences.

It is also where you learn to make things happen for yourself and use the resources you have to get where you need to go. Networking with your peers is of the utmost importance.

Though many may become home sick or feel slight intimidation due to the change of environments, it is then that they begin to gain independence.

So many things happen between freshman and senior year, but as long as you put God first in all that you do, everything will work for your good.

While you attend class regularly and maintain your GPA (because that’s what Tigers do) I encourage you to take part in your class, college and community.

As students, we are fortunate that our opportunities to learn do not cease once class has ended. Being involved opens the gates of opportunity for you as well as your future.

For undergraduate students, being involved in an organization or extracurricular activity increases your chances of graduating.

It decreases your chances of dropping out of or transferring to another college. The National Survey of Student Engagement shows that there was a higher percentage of students who participated outside of the class maintaining above a 3.0 than those who chose not to participate.

Seniors, it’s not too late for you to become involved as well.

Being involved gives you practical experience that you may see in your field once you graduate.

Grambling State University students are intelligent and many of you will graduate with honors, so what will make you stand out?

Showing that you were active outside of the classroom not only shows leadership but it’s also yet another qualification that you may add to your resume.

The list is endless when it comes to the advantages and benefits of becoming involved.

I will continue to stress the importance of my platform, “Why Be Involved” in hopes that more people will grab the opportunities it may have for them.

While taking action in your campus and community, I encourage you to keep three things held high: your head, your GPA and most of all your Tiger pride. Have a wonderful semester students and staff.

Jamesia Leonard is a mass communication major from Lafayette.