Weekend of Welcome confirms Alcorn as the right choice for new students on their pursuit of a college education

A group of new scholars has begun the next chapter of their lives at Alcorn State University.

The freshman class of 2023 arrived on the Lorman campus Friday, Aug. 16 during the university's annual Weekend of Welcome (WOW). Students were cheerfully greeted and moved into their new home away from home with help from their parents, university staff, alumni volunteers and various campus organizations.

Campus quickly filled with new students who were ready to start the next phase of their lives. Kennedy Key, an Oak Park, Michigan native, felt accomplished when she arrived at what she believes is the right university for her.

"I'm excited to pursue my college education at Alcorn," said Kennedy. "I've always dreamed of attending an HBCU, especially one with exceptional nursing and pre-medicine programs. Alcorn offers everything on my college checklist, so I know that this is the place for me."

Kennedy's academic choice is a good one, especially in the eyes of her father, Kenny Key, a Mississippi resident. He expressed his pride in her choosing Alcorn, and he spoke on the value of the university and other HBCUs.

"I'm a proud father," said Mr. Key. "She could have chosen any HBCU, but I am glad that she chose Alcorn. Black colleges are so important, especially when it comes to equipping future doctors because HBCUs produce a large number of medical doctors. HBCUs like Alcorn, does a great job at polishing students for success."

Learning new skills and preparing for their future career is what drives many of the freshmen, including K'Breouna Barnes, a Port Gibson, Mississippi native who graduated in the top ten of the 2019 Port Gibson High School class. Barnes looks forward to embarking on what she anticipates will be an enriching educational experience.

"I'm looking forward to starting my journey and learning as much as I can about being a pediatrician," said K'Breouna. "I've always loved children, and I believe Alcorn will do a great job of preparing me for my career."

According to K'Breouna's mother, Kanicka Anderson, her daughter's acceptance into college is an excellent example of hard work. Ms. Anderson applauds her for staying on course and reaching such a significant milestone.

"This amazing young lady fills my heart with pride," said Ms. Anderson. "When K'Breouna was accepted into Alcorn, I was so happy. The journey was not without detours and delays, but thanks to God, we have reached our destination."

Alcorn has gained a reputation for its dominant Braves football team and family-oriented atmosphere. Both qualities attracted student-athlete Trevor Vines from Lafayette, Alabama. The vibe he gets from being on campus gives him hope for his future.

"Alcorn is a great school, and it offers a great environment to its students," said Trevor. "The school has a great football team, which I am a member. Alcorn also has great teachers and great programs."

Trevor's transition is an exciting time for his family. His father, Kenneth, spoke highly of the university's coaching staff and quality customer service. He looks forward to experiencing the Braves family again during football season while cheering his son on.

"When we visited Alcorn, we fell in love with the coaching staff and some of Alcorn's staff," said Mr. Vines. "He's the first in the Vines family to play college football, so everyone is excited about watching him play. He has to remember that playing football is a privilege; staying focused on his education is the main priority."

Scholar students frequent Alcorn's campus regularly. One of those students is Muskogee, Oklahoma native Luster Harris, an ASU Foundation, Inc. Scholarship recipient. He thanks Alcorn for rewarding him for his dedication to educational excellence.

"It's a blessing to receive a scholarship," said Luster. "The assistance will help my mom and me with the educational cost. It's also a blessing for my mother because she won't have to struggle to pay for my education. This lifts the financial burden and allows me to focus and do good in class."

Joy overtook Luster's mother, Stephanie, as she tried to express her pride in her son's accomplishments. She's happy with the young man he has become and looks forward to his continued progress.

"I'm proud of my son for maintaining his GPA, earning a scholarship, and getting accepted into an HBCU," said Ms. Harris. "Words can hardly express how proud he has made me."

Transitioning from high school to college can be scary, but soon enough, new students settle and began to feel at home. That's the reality for Reje Breland, a Gulfport, Mississippi native who admits to being anxious, but also excited about the new horizons ahead.

"I'm nervous, but also, I'm excited to start a new path and meet new people," said Reje. "My goal for my freshman year is to get involved in different activities around campus and have fun; all while staying committed to my studies."

Staying focused is a lesson that Reje's mother, Lapronica Taylor, continually teaches. She advised Reje to remain diligent in her studies and avoid distractions.

"I want her to stay focused and put her education first," said Ms. Taylor. "It is okay to party and have fun, but her main priority is to perform well in class and earn a college degree."