Canisha Young grew up in Durham, NC, part of a large family. Active in high school academics, student government, theater and the school spirit squad, Canisha wondered for a while whether she’d get to go to college.
But Canisha found a way, because she saw more for herself beyond high school. Excited by the opportunities she glimpsed in high school student government and theater, she made sure that she took advantage of every visit from colleges and universities to her high school. Early in the process, her junior year, she decided she wanted to go to a historically black college or university (HBCU), and when ECSU visited, she was immediately impressed.
“Three things about ECSU impressed me right away - the heritage of the school as a teaching institution, the Viking Spirit that the admissions counselor showed and the small class sizes in virtually all subjects, which allows more individual attention from professors. And, in addition, there was available financial assistance.”
“So, I picked ECSU, and they accepted me, and I started school in a part of the state I didn’t know. I was hopeful, but a little nervous, my first time away from home for an extended period.”
“I was amazed at how welcome everyone made me feel — faculty, staff, my fellow students. The work was harder, people were from all over the place, but the size of the school was about that of my high school, which was perfect for me. I found that I could do all of the things I’d done in high school - and more. More opportunities for leadership, more academic subjects to choose from, better extracurriculars, more sports to support. ECSU has been everything I could have wanted, and more!”
“Three professors have made the difference for me here at ECSU. Professor John Luton, who always told me, ‘you can do it’, Professor Danene Washington, who doesn’t just teach, but asks us what we want to learn and Professor Melba Smith, who let me intern at the campus radio and television stations and who has encouraged me to follow my dream to work in the broadcasting industry when I graduate.”
”I will graduate in 2015, but I already know what makes ECSU the perfect place for me. If you’re willing to work and to take responsibility for that work, the people here will help. But it’s not about handholding. It’s about giving us a hand up.”
Canisha has been quite successful at ECSU. She was the recipient of the 2014 Leadership Award, she was the Student Government Officer of the Year for 2014, she’s been on the Pep Squad, been president of the Student Activities Committee and has acted, sung and danced in theater productions. And she has a year left!
Favorite place on campus: You can most likely catch me in the New Student Center hanging with friends or upstairs in the Student Government office.
Professor who has influenced you the most: Mr. John Luton, Ms. Danene Washington, and Mrs. Melba Smith.
Advice for other students: Believe in yourself, and never allow anyone to tell you that your dreams are impossible. If you can dream it, then more than likely you can do it.