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First-Generation College Student Lekeshia Lynch Eyes Graduation as a New Family Tradition

Charlotte, N.C. (March 11, 2013) – Johnson C. Smith’s Metropolitan College, to say the least, has been life changing for current student Lekeshia Lynch. She says, “coming to Metropolitan College is the best decision I’ve made for my education.” A social work major, Lynch is gaining real-world experience through her college education and in her job as a crisis worker for a local crisis recovery center. There, she is able to work with people in the community who suffer from substance abuse issues.

These experiences have  helped her gain a better understanding of recovery, which in her world is important. For years, her mother battled with substance abuse.  Adding to that devastation was the loss of Lekeshia’s sister in 1997 to addiction. “I never thought drug addiction would be an interest of mine,” she said. “But it has given me healing and understanding, and it has also helped me to understand why people battle with drug abuse.”

 The abilities to heal and understand are what enable Lynch to move past the pain of her experiences. She feels that Metropolitan College has become a place of healing and support that has added to her success. She credits Metropolitan College for bringing out the person inside of her that she has suppressed.

“Everyone here is like family,” she said. “We offer each other healing and support, not only for education, but for life.”

Lynch will be the first of her siblings to graduate from college, so May 2014 will be a time of triumph. More importantly, she wants to start this tradition with her own children. A mother of five, Lynch understands the importance of obtaining a college degree.  She has already started persuading her children and other family members to attend college. Her ten-year-old son, Elijah, loves Johnson C. Smith University and hopes to someday attend the university to enroll in the College of STEM. Furthermore, her niece, daughter of her deceased sister, was encouraged by Lynch to start Metropolitan College this spring.

Lynch is also heavily involved on campus as vice president of  Non Traditional Students in Higher Education, a student government organization at Metropolitan College. She is a member of Kappa Alpha Mu Honor Society for Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work, Phi Gamma Mu Honor Society for Social Science and Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society for adult students. She also joined the National Association of Black Social Workers and the North Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.  

In the future, Lynch plans to obtain her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work and eventually start her own supportive housing for the mentally-ill homeless population in the Carolina area. Through her employment, she has had contact with numerous people with substance abuse issues and homelessness, which has compelled her to help them get the resources they need so they can receive long term care.

About Metropolitan College

Johnson C. Smith University’s Metropolitan College offers undergraduate degree programs for adults that enhance their opportunities for career advancement and success. Metropolitan College provides flexible, convenient schedules and a variety of course styles including on-campus and online. For more information about JCSU, visit or follow the university on Facebook.

Jennifer Gaskins
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing


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