Te’Yah Wright, a junior environmental science major, is headed towards greatness one step at a time. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Te’Yah grew up in Jackson, Mississippi where she attended Jim Hill High School as a student of the International Baccalaureate Program.
Since the age of five, Te’Yah had always aspired to become a veterinarian. However, after studying abroad in Costa Rica during the summer months of 2018, her plans changed.
“I saw a whole new side of agriculture that I didn’t even know about. Learning about the principles and knowledge that goes into conservation and saving the planet was really interesting to me,” she said.
Out of only 20 available slots, Te’Yah was selected to participate in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, making her the first from Alcorn to do so. Held at the University of Michigan, this rigorous, all-expense paid program is a two-summer opportunity for undergraduates who are interested in obtaining careers in the conservation field. The first summer will be held in the classroom, where students will be assigned to work under a professor to assist with conservation research. The second summer will allow students to deepen their skills and knowledge, build professional networks, and identify their career paths.
“It’s really amazing,” said Te’Yah. “I never thought in a million years that I would be able to say ‘I’m the first from Alcorn.’ This is a huge accomplishment.”
Te’Yah is a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success, the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization and Geekology, an organization she created that is geared towards people that don’t typically “fit in” with the more popular crowds on campus.
“It’s a place where everyone can come together, be a part of a family, and just be confident in themselves,” she stated.
Aside from being a resident assistant for her dorm, Te’Yah enjoys working in the campus greenhouse, finding it “therapeutic.” Her responsibilities include watering and planting waterleaf plants.
Te’Yah encourages her peers to remain patient and always put forth their best effort in order to achieve academic success.
“They will see your potential,” she reassures.
After graduation, she plans to study environmental science and agronomy at the University of Michigan. In the future, she would like to become a nutritionist or dietician and begin building an organic farm to educate local communities on the benefits of consuming organic foods.
Dr. Jacqueline McComb, assistant professor of environmental science, and Michael Trusclair, USDA 1890 Program Liaison, played key roles in Te’Yah’s acceptance into this elite program.
“My goal is to prepare our students for successful careers in the future,” said Trusclair.
Te’Yah thanks her mother, her peers, and her mentors for their continuous guidance and support.
For more information, contact Trusclair at 202-596-0478 or firstname.lastname@example.org.