Devondia Roseborough Fights HIV Through Education
Charlotte, N.C. – Nov. 19, 2013 -- DeVondia Roseborough, a freshman at Johnson C. Smith University’s Metropolitan College, is an outspoken advocate for young African-American females who are battling self-esteem issues. At age 42, she speaks from experience.
Roseborough battles HIV, a disease that almost took her life in 2004, one year after she discovered she was infected. With two daughters, she worried that they too, would be infected. Fortunately, they are not. But health issues weren’t the only obstacles Roseborough had to overcome. “I battled low self-esteem, depression and obstacles of being a single mom,” she says.
Today is a different story for Roseborough and one that she is happy to share. In addition to writing two books, she started the Rasberrirose Foundation to positively impact African-American girls by focusing on self-esteem and HIV prevention. She takes her message to her audiences wherever they are – from the campuses of Duke University and local high schools to her sorority’s World AIDS Day event and “backyard conversations” with young women. In 2011, she appeared on CNN’s “Breakthrough Women” with Robin Meade and was twice chosen “Best Community Leader” finalist for the Steve Harvey Hoodie Awards.
Roseborough started her educational journey at a community college when she was 21. Since then, she has tried several career paths including business administration, human services, early childhood development, criminal justice and cosmetology. But none kept her interest.
After losing her job at the Health Department when a grant ran out, she decided to take an online career survey to point her in the right direction. The exercise led her to what she was already doing - social work. After talking to a friend who was in the program at Metropolitan College, Roseborough decided to go back to school to be more competitive in her field.
“Metropolitan College is the best thing I’ve done to move forward,” she says. “It’s not only convenient, but classes are also small – one of my classes had seven students.” She is still undecided on her major but is leaning toward communications and marketing.
Roseborough has self-published two books: “Put it on Paper,” based on her life, and “Baptized in Warm Milk,” a fiction book based on the temptations of the flesh.
In addition to running her own foundation, she performs contract work for two local nonprofit agencies, Carolina Family Alliance and Each One, Reach Two. “I feel great,” she says. “God gave me a mission to go, say and do. “At this point in my life, I like to empower and inspire.”
Roseborough will participate in a panel discussion at a World AIDS Day Town Hall Meeting on Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. in Grimes Lounge at JCSU. The event is sponsored by the Mecklenburg County HIV/AIDS Council.
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