De La Salle North Catholic alumnus Kalauna Carter this year was named an HBCU All-Star by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The Skanner News asked Carter, a Tuskeegee University student, about how she has succeeded in school so far.
The Skanner News: What keeps you motivated to succeed in school and community service even though you are so far from home?
Kalauna Carter: My relationship withGodmost definitelykeeps me motivated, but also knowing that I am paving the way for those coming behind me to be successful. I hope that my success will open more opportunities for them than I ever had for myself. Everything that I do is not for me, it's for others. As a child my parents instilled early just how important it is to give back and as I have become a young adult, I see just how important it is. For the past two, going on three, years I have been volunteering with "I Am My Brother’s Keeper" Mentoring and Tutoring progam in the local Tuskegee community. Being in college I see just how important it is to strengthen the youth around us in every aspect, especially academically and socially. They are why I choose to give back; so to an extent, my success is bigger than me. It is not just my success, it's our success and their success is my success.
TSN: What is your life goal, what do you want to achieve from earning a college degree?
Carter: To be able to provide more opportunities to other young girls and young boys who come after me. I want my college degree to say that I have learned a foundation that will prepare me for not only the technical aspects of my field, but the real world as a whole.
TSN: Is there anyone who has inspired you along the way?
Carter: There are so many, but I will keep this list short: my parents, my brother, my sister, my cousins, childhood friends, and the women of the Les Femmes Debutantes of Portland, Oregon. Each of them affected me in a different way by helping me to mature and inspiring me along the way, teaching me valuable lessons. When I was younger I was very involved in various programs throughout the local Portland and Vancouver communities. My family and those who looked after me were the ones who pushed me the most.
TSN: What advice would you give to upcoming students who are thinking about applying to colleges today?
Carter: Don't think of college as one big party or negatively as more school in addition to high school, but think of it as a door to a world of opportunities that will make life so much more sweet, easy and beneficial. College is the only place where you'll be around people your age with the freedom to do and become what you want. Don’t compare yourself to anyone, not myself, not a family member, etc. Just be you; God made you special in your own way with your own talents and gifts. Remember to keep God at the root of everything that you do.