Land of Lincoln Goodwill wishes to recognize one of our own who recently graduated from a Historical Black College and University. Jericha Richards joined our GoodGuides Youth Mentoring program in 2010. Upon graduating from the program, Jericha went on to become a peer mentor, an adult mentor, and an employee at our Goodwill stores. Jericha took time to answer some questions and reflect on her experience at a Historical Black College and University.
Why should an HBCU be a top choice for young adults to attend?
“Students should consider an HBCU (Historical Black College and University), because it is truly a place where you are somebody. It allows for you to be in a familiar place around other students who want equal opportunities. There are ample amounts of networking and travel opportunities and a plethora of internship opportunities. Attending an HBCU will teach and one day help a student apply core principals to use in the workforce and teach those survival characteristics needed to be the best you that you can be. An HBCU is truly a home away from home.”
What major and degree did you receive?
“I double majored in Biology and Visual and Performing Arts and received my Bachelor of Arts and Science.”
What are some memorable moments you had at Grambling State University?
“Some of the most memorable moments for me started my freshman year when I was inducted into the President’s Student Leadership Initiative. Being inducted into that program opened up travel opportunities as well as opportunities for me to network with other HBCU students and CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies. I was a mentor and orientation leader for four years and was able to introduce my University to prospective students. One of my first memories was serving as the Vice President of the Biological and Pre-Doctoral Society. Also, with many organizations and programs under my belt, I even had time to be a part of fun organizations serving as the Vice President of Strut-LA Modeling Troupe, where we believe in the uplifting of people, building confidence as well as showing that in every person there is beauty and fashion. The Strut-LA Modeling Troupe allowed me to work with over 100 different designers, some being a part of Atlanta fashion week, and others being featured in fashion magazines in New York City, but also using designers from other HBCUs and from other cities such as Texas, Missouri, Florida, Vegas, Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Lastly, HOMECOMING HOMECOMING HOMECOMING !! Homecoming at Grambling State was like going to a family reunion with thousands of people. I had the chance to go to comedy shows with featured artists such as Deeray Davis, B Simone, Desi Banks and Wild N Out. The biggest thing was the concerts, being able to see artist from Bell Biv Devoe, Erykah Badu, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Joe, Tank, Jeremih, Tianna Taylor, Young Thug, City Girls, Megan the Stallion, G- Herbo, Gunna, Party Next Door, Bryson Tiller, the Migos as well as so many more, while never having to pay anything to see these artists.”
How did Grambling State University prepare you for entering the workforce?
“Grambling State prepared me for the workforce in more ways than one. From community service opportunities that taught me that being kind and helpful is more rewarding than receiving things, from the standard set on campus with dress. Although it was never mandatory to dress a certain way, the atmosphere made you want to dress up. Grambling held a convocation on Tuesdays or Thursdays where you had to wear business attire and listen to a speaker who has already established themselves from celebrity to millionaire status. The convocation gave me an opportunity to see other African Americans who came from a similar background as I become someone who is in a place of comfort and stability. Most of all the ample amount of internship, travel, and conference opportunities placed in your hands gave you the opportunity to update and work on your resume as well as adding to a growing business-like mindset. Some of those opportunities granted included Thurgood Marshall, Med School Conferences, HBCU meet-ups, NASAP (National Association of Student Affairs Professionals). My favorite thing was the etiquette classes and mock interviews offered. Grambling prepared me for dinner and office interviews. They even had a place where you can pick from an array of business attire to add to your collection. Grambling gave me the needed opportunities to teach me with hands on experience how to be assertive and professional in everything I do.”