My name is Mirah Reed, an 18-year-old from Hazlehurst, Mississippi. This year has been very eventful. While enrolled in Hazlehurst High, I was introduced to Mississippi Job Corps Center in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. I am attending both high school and receiving an office administration trade certification from Job Corps.
Unexpected things happen in our lives and sometimes seem to knock you off course. In 2017, my sister passed away and it really shook me. She was my role model. She was the most inspirational person in my life and without her, I started to feel lost. She was an alumna of Tougaloo College with a degree in English who furthered her education to Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The bond that I had with her was indescribable, so I knew that I could not let her down and that I would do everything in my power to make her proud.
My counselor at the Mississippi Job Corps center came to us one day and passed out applications for the College Pathways Program. At the time, I didn’t know what it was, but I saw that Tougaloo was a participating school, so I knew this was a sign. I filled out all my information and turned it in as fast as I could and prayed that this opportunity would work out for me. When the time came and I was selected as a Tom Joyner Foundation College Pathways Program Scholar, my family and I were so excited. After much hard work to complete both Hazlehurst High and Mississippi Job Corps, I can now further my education even more at my dream school.
Without this opportunity from the College Pathways program, I would not have been able to attend the school of my dreams and fulfill my destiny. The College Pathways Program has given me the opportunity to reach my dreams without having to about worry about the things that other college students have to worry about. We have been freed of tuition. We also have mentors and the College Pathways team to help us with our transition through our college experience and to guide us through any situations we have.
I am now attending Tougaloo College, majoring in Political Science/Pre-Law. I chose this major in memory of my deceased sister, LeQuisha Stevenson. With the work ethic she instilled in me, the help from the College Pathways Program, and the determination to always want to help people, I know that all my dreams will come true.
My motto in life is: “No one can make you successful. The will to success comes from within.” I’ve internalized it to the point of understanding that the success of my actions and/or endeavors doesn’t depend on anyone else, and that includes a possible failure.
While attending Tougaloo College for the past two months, I have joined the NAACP organization and I plan on joining other organizations that follow my career path. As I embark on my journey into higher learning, I will always remember all the love and gifts that I have received.
Hazlehurst High School, Class of 2018