As a native of Buffalo, New York, and now a resident of Gastonia, North Carolina, the impact that my CIAA school has on my community is a breath of fresh air. Livingstone College does an incredible job of giving back to the community. In 2013 we as students and faculty helped build two homes for the homeless through Habitat for Humanity. In December, we held a Christmas dinner and gave toys to 25 Salisbury-area families. Growing up in Buffalo, there are no historically black colleges and universities.African American culture was usually only discussed in our public schools classes during the month of February, which is Black History Month.It was only when I and my family moved to North Carolina that I learned about the impact that HBCUs have and the culture that they represent.

Being at Livingstone College, my CIAA school, gives me such a drive to become a successful black woman and be one of the women known in our future history for the things that they have done for their country. We as black women in the 21st century have the highest rate of any ethnic group for becoming teen moms and not finishing school.CIAA schools like Livingstone give us a chance to be successful college graduates by encouraging us not to reaffirm the stereotypes seen elsewhere. My mother chose to move to Gastonia in 2007 because she wanted her children to have the same opportunities as she had when she attended college. We were introduced to the historically black colleges in the area by some of her co-workers and friends, and we also attended CIAA tournament games. At that time, at the age of 12, I was still unaware of the full impact of why this event was held every year. As I grew, I began to understand the true meaning of the impact every historical black college has given to their community and students.For me, going to CIAA events is now a chance to experience culture and perspective I might not see elsewhere.

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Livingstone College has given me a …

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