Simone Carter graduated from Loyola University Chicago on May 12, 2016 from The School of Communication with degree in Advertising & Public Relations. The journey to completing this great milestone has been long but truly worth the accomplished goal.
Simone’s journey with education started after graduation from Dunwoody High School in Dunwoody, Georgia in May 2009. The high school graduation tests in Georgia was a struggle for her on the math portion. However, with a determined mother and mentors Simone did not allow the frustrations of the Georgia Graduation tests to stop her push toward her goals. Simone has always been determined and focuses on going off to college just as her mother had the pleasure of being a 1st generation graduate, she wanted to keep the legacy going. Plus, the importance about education was stressed by her mom Letrise Carter and teachers. She was doing college for her not anyone else so it made her journey better. It was during her Senior year of high school that Simone wanted to become a nurse and work with babies and expecting moms. Her journey would start at Sanford Brown College in Dunwoody, Georgia and then onto Georgia Perimeter College after discovering the non-accredation that Sanford Brown College held when she inquired looking into four year university. Still, she seem to struggle with math and science which made her search out what it was she wanted to study that would lead to a career. It would be a afternoon power walk with her mother that they discuss relocating back to the Chicago western suburbs as she looked at schools in Illinois.
Since relocating back to western suburbs of Chicago, she has attended four educational institutions. The first being the College of DuPage where she focused on completing her general studies prior to transferring to Aurora University where she was interested in studying nursing. Though, Simone was struggling with finding what she wanted to do, she changed her major to something that she truly enjoys and that was Communication. This changed sparked her to investigate her current schools program offerings which lead her to Benedictine University where she would study Communications. This program was too generic and Simone was driven by finding out what it was in the field of communication that she wanted to do. It was an internship at the Benedictine Art Gallery as a Public Relations Coordinator that sparked her interest in Loyola University because the program was not offered at her current school. Simone transferred to Loyola University for the Fall 2014 school where she would major in Advertising & Public Relations in the School of Communications. She finally found her school that would train, teach, and influence her craft.
It was a long journey to self-discovery and purpose, but it was worth it. Sit back and enjoy a Q&A from our college graduate Simone Carter.
MBS: Why did you move around to multiple schools?
Simone: I didnt’ feel like those school made me feel at home. I didn’t feel they made me feel like I reached my goals. I had a purpose,but the other schools were not offering me the various resources and support to figure out what I was destined to do. I didn’t feel a need to stay.
MBS: When did you realize what you wanted to get your degree in?
Simone: I honestly didn’t fully figure out what I desired to do until I got to Loyola University Chicago and was in my internship. Yes, I had declared my major as Advertising and public relations but I’ didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do till I got my web design internship. It was that very moment I discovered what I desired to do and felt confident in what I was getting my degree in. I honestly selected advertising and public relations because it gave me the opportunity to utilize my voice. I know I want to be a field that allowed me to speak to a large audience and I knew I wanted to be creative in my approach.
MBS: What was the reason you choose Loyola University?
Simone: I choose Loyola University because they offered opportunities that my previous schools did not offer. I felt at home and I truly had the support team with my advisor (Dr. Cooper-Gibson) and friends.
MBS: What barriers and frustrations did you deal with at Loyola University?
Simone: Honestly, at Loyola University Chicago I dealt with frustration, but in the end it was a great eye opener. I faced racial discrimination and people who didn’t share my vision. All of which helped me become stronger and ready to share my vision even more.
MBS: How did you handle not quitting?
Simone: Quitting was not even an option for me. Even though there were many moments I desired to give up. My mother and God were my strength through college. I had a praying mother who refused to let me give up.
MBS: What kept you from transferring to another school when times get tuff and frustrating?
Simone: Honestly, my mother lol. Besides my mother, the fact that I was ready to go to the next chapter in my life . I knew God did not bring me this far for nothing. There was a reason I came to the point and place in my journey. We all have a season and I was in mine.
MBS: Did you have mentors that supported you and encouraged you during this journey?
Simone: My mother and advisor were my mentors.
MBS: How does it feel to complete such a milestone as graduating from a top university like Loyola University Chicago?
Simone: Honestly, it feels great. I don’t think it will completely hit me until August. I do feel like I walked out a stronger person.
MBS: What advice would you give to another young African American student?
Simone: My advice that I would give to other young African American students would be to never give up. You need to knOw that God will reveal to you in time your purpose and gifts. You need to know that it won’t be on your time or anyone else’s time so be patient and listen for his voice.
Simone’s journey may have taken her from 2009 to 2016, but it was a journey to discover who she is as not just a college student but to develop, grow, and mature into a beautiful and talented young woman. There is power within you when you discover who you are and who you belong to. It was a journey where she realized her purpose and her passion. Having to tap into who she is helped to shaped her voice, her gifts, and her talents so that she may have a positive impact and influence on others. Remember that you can get through anything during your college journey by faith, prayer, your support team, love, understanding, and knowing the power in your voice. Congrats to Simone Carter and her friends on an amazing milestone achieved.