Determination Wins: Edwin Stuffle, First Generation HBCU Student at Oakwood University

I was born in Georgetown, Guyana where I lived with my mother until I was about three years old. She and my father were not together at the time. My father then took me to live with him and his mother (my grandmother) in Barbados. I lived there until I was 18 and came to the United States for college at Oakwood University. While I was still young, my father was incarcerated and subsequently deported back to Guyana. Thus, I was left to live with my grandmother in Barbados until she immigrated to the United States. After my grandmother left, I then lived with her sister (my great aunt) for the remainder of my time in Barbados.

Deciding to come to college was, for me, something that naturally felt like the next step after high school. My great aunt always stressed the importance of attaining an education to me and her sons, my cousins with whom I grew with as brothers. (She herself went to college, but no one else in my immediate family and much of my extended family).

It has been my childhood dream to pursue a career in medicine. I decided to come to college to achieve that goal. Even though getting here was hard, especially financially, I was determined not to let my circumstances determine my fate.

My experience at Oakwood has been a great one so far! My school is very service-oriented and I have had many opportunities to serve my community. My program in the biology department is top notch and my professors there are excellent. I love my HBCU!


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Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White is Director of Digital Strategy for the Tom Joyner Foundation, a writer and editor.