I came to Grambling hoping to experience and explore my culture a little more and I got just that. I’ve always wanted to attend a historically black college and I did. I didn’t, however, live college out to its fullest potential. I didn’t party. I can count on my hand how many times I went out and actually stayed long enough to enjoy myself. I also wanted to pledge. That also didn’t happen. I wish I had gone out more. I wish I liked the taste of alcohol. My party experience at Grambling would have been a whole lot better.
Many times, I wish I would have transferred or never even went to Grambling in the first place because of the campus violence, the lack of resources. I was just plain tired of being here. I even started filling out applications to other schools. Then I realized that there aren’t many other schools that I can participate in media programs on campus as a freshman. I was with the Sports Radio Network at the time and that had a huge impact on me and really convinced me to stay. But I really could have gotten a better experience somewhere else, but because of Grambling I was able maintain at least a 3.6 grade point average; pass most of my classes without a grade lower than a C, take 21 hours in one semester and get the right experience in my field to land a job before I graduate.
So the firstly, I’d like to thank God. I would not be anywhere without him. Secondly, my mom, Sandra Merritt, she’s been there since day one. I honestly do not know where I’d be without my backbone.
It started August 2012. I saw a Twitter post from Kevin Keise inviting students to come The Gramblinite meeting. I quickly replied inquiring about the location and other logistics and it took off from there. Kevin was a great mentor to me when he was sports editor.
Another great and phenomenal mentor of mine from The Gramblinite is Tierra Smith. She was a big help and a friend. Tierra was assistant sports editor at the time and she insisted that I come to her instead of Kevin for help.
After a year of writing for The Gramblinite, I became sports editor and news editor next.
My experience in The Gramblinite has truly been a blessing so I appreciate everything Ms. Peters and Ms. Dunn have done for me. I want to thank Evan Peters for helping teach me how to do layout using InDesign.
Next, Mr. B and the entire television center. He’s probably the reason I have my job at KSLA today. I’ve learned so much under his instruction.
I was introduced to Mr. Will Sutton through Tierra. He deserves more than a thank you. He’s really invested time into making sure his students are prepared for the work world. I know I can come to him for anything because his longevity and experience in the media business. HE LITERALLY KNOWS EVERYTHING!
Lastly, I’m thanking Dr. Sandra Lee and the rest of the Mass Communication Department for everything they’ve taught me, advised me about, and helped me with.
Kassandra Merritt is a senior mass communication major from Montgomery, Alabama.