Pamela Jackson overcomes challenges to earn degree

With her dedication to earning a degree from Alcorn State University, Pamela Jackson, a Vicksburg, Mississippi resident, is an excellent example of perseverance.  

On Friday, Dec. 7, Jackson, a program manager for the Vicksburg Housing Authority, will receive a bachelor's degree in business administration during Alcorn State University's 2018 Fall Commencement. 

The accomplishment is one that Jackson is proud of. She thanks everyone who has supported her in her educational endeavors.

"This is such a great feeling and honor," said Jackson. "I'm thankful for the professors who challenged my mind and continued to encourage me to follow through with my goal of graduating from Alcorn. I thank God for this blessing."

The milestone that Jackson will soon accomplish has been in the making for some time now. She initially enrolled at Alcorn in 1985, but she wasn't able to return for her sophomore year due to financial limitations.

After sitting out of school for a few years, Jackson enrolled at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi where she earned two associate degrees in business technology (1991) and microcomputer information processing (1992).  

Although proud of her credentials, Jackson knew that there was more for her to accomplish.

"Once I received my associate degrees, I was somewhat satisfied because I wanted to have some college training. I knew that without them my employment opportunities would be limited, but I also knew that the associate degrees would only get me so far."

Jackson's return to college was more than just an attempt at career prominence. She also wanted to show her two sons the value of quality education. 

"I wanted better for myself and my sons. I also wanted them to see the importance of education and the difference it can make in one's life. I got back in school to show them that goals can be accomplished."

Business acumen runs in Jackson's family. Two of her aunts, who had long careers as businesswomen at Hinds Community College, inspired her to follow in their footsteps.

"I always wanted to work in the field of business. My motivation came from two of my aunts who retired from Hinds Community College after 36 and 38 years of working in the field of business and finance. Business administration is such a broad field of study and presents many career opportunities."

With her journey coming to a close, Jackson is thankful for overcoming the obstacles and achieving her goal. She motivates others who desire to enroll in college to go for it and keep their eyes focused on the prize.

"I've had challenges and have made many sacrifices, but being a non-traditional student has been rewarding.  It is never too late to get an education. Have faith and believe in yourself. Never let the words ‘I can't' be a part of your vocabulary. Stay focused."