We are…Brave. We are Alcorn.

We are…Brave. We are Alcorn.

Kaelon A. Walker and Tony J. Innouvong came to Alcorn State University from different places – geographically and culturally – but the University became their second home nurturing them to succeed and instilling the desire to be brave and pursue their dreams.

Kaelon came to Alcorn in 2009 from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, from a family in which four brothers attended college before him, but Kaelon was the first to earn a degree and now he is pursuing graduate school.

“Throughout my college experience there were many ups and downs. I transitioned from sport to sport and had some financial struggles that are typical for independent college students,” shared Walker. “But by far the hardest obstacle occurred in the spring of 2012 during the week of finals. It wasn’t the typical pressure to graduate, it was the loss of a brother. With the support of my family, my professors and friends at school I was able to overcome that obstacle and still emerge to walk across the stage in his honor.”

Not only did Kaelon overcome the hardships, he managed to accomplish a number of things while at Alcorn: he was named Student Athlete of the Year for track, made the Dean’s list numerous times, graduated cum laude and was initiated in to the Gamma Pi chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. The subject of his pride and passion is volunteering with Real Men Read – a men’s mentoring program that services local elementary schools. “We are trying to help develop the minds of children ages five to 10 through the power of reading,” explains Walker.

Now only in the first year of his Master of Business Administration program, Kaelon has already mapped out his move upon graduation: he wants to open a chain of commercialized production facilities that would produce music, graphic design and photography.

Another accomplished member of the Alcorn family and a brave individual Tony came to the University in 2012 following his dream of earning MBA degree and pursuing an opportunity to gain a new life experience far away from his hometown of Seattle, Washington. His journey was not an easy one as well. “My family has always struggled financially. My mother is a single parent and lives from paycheck to paycheck. While I was finishing my degree at a community college, I debated whether to put school on hold so that I could work and help my family financially. I was at a crossroad. To stay in school was a tough decision but I knew it was the right one. I knew that the long-term benefits of staying in school would outweigh the short-term benefits of working. Until now, that philosophy hasn’t failed me. I was glad I came to Alcorn. I have met so many great and influential people and learned tremendously about myself and the world around me.”

His stellar GPA, research that focuses on internationalization and global education at HBCUs, serving as president for the International and Multicultural Student Organization, participating in Diversity Champions and M.A.D.E. Man student groups, and many other activities on campus prove that being brave enough to stay in school was a great decision for Tony and a road to even greater success in the future.

When talking about the future, Tony mentions that he is planning to earn a Ph.D., work in international development and travel.

As both students have solid plans upon receiving their MBA degrees, the Alcorn family wishes Kaelon and Tony the best of luck, great success and to continue their brave journey and inspire future generations of students that will follow their footsteps. 

1 Kaelon and Tony

Pictured L to R: Tony and Kaelon.