"No matter where you go in life, always be brave enough," – a motto that Alcorn alumna Destiny Crockett lives by.
By any account, Crockett is a success story, yet she considers her failures central to her achievements. The Greenwood, Mississippi native is on her way to becoming "Dr. Crockett," as she is an entering earth and atmospheric science doctoral student at Mississippi State University.
Destiny received her bachelor's degree in agricultural science from Alcorn in 2017. She most recently earned her master's degree in environmental science from Jackson State University in 2019.
Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, Destiny always wanted to attend the University of Southern Mississippi. However, it was her mother, also an Alcorn alumna, who insisted on her giving Alcorn a try, noting that she could always transfer if she didn't like it. After attending a three-week summer program during her senior year of high school, Destiny said it was "the kindness of those affiliated with Alcorn" that made her fall in love with the University.
It was Destiny's family who encouraged her to channel her passion for planting, gardening, and using the almanac into a career.
"My love has always been for Earth and environmental science," she says. "I can remember questioning why Earth's natural processes were designed the way that they were. When I finally began to learn about it in school, I was amazed."
It was while interning for the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service that Destiny became inspired to help out others and the environment. That experience is what influenced her decision to become a state conservationist.
Since graduation, Destiny feels that one of her biggest challenges has been learning to take the initiative.
"I had always been a soft-spoken person who didn't always speak up for myself," she admitted. "I have learned that in the real world, no one is going to wait for you, and if you want something done, you must be willing to take the initiative to make it happen."
She stresses to young scholars the importance of keeping a paper trail and being adaptable. She believes one of the most significant tokens she can give students is to "know when to talk and know when not to talk." She encourages them to choose their battles wisely, network as much as possible, surround themselves with positive people, and to "always believe in yourself."
Crockett gathers her inspiration from her hardworking mother, Ida D. Crockett, and her mentors Dr. Turquiose Perlote Alexander and Dr. Wandra Arrington.
She is currently a member of the National Organization of Professional Women in Natural Resources (WiN) and the Greenwood-Itta Bena Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
In the future, she plans to be an author of her published research, and in the process of finalizing a grant to support educating children in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), specifically agricultural sciences, in the MS Delta area.