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Undeniable Progress! Beating the odds

Bill Gates dabbing with JCSU students

Bill Gates can’t get enough of the Gold and Blue. Two recent posts on his blog, Gates Notes, praise Johnson C. Smith University’s success at graduating first-generation college students and those from low-income backgrounds. The first article, “Meeting Students Where They Are,” highlights the services of Metropolitan College for nontraditional students and University College programs for students who don’t meet the academic standards for regular admission. It counts JCSU as one of the most innovative Historically Black Colleges for recruiting at-risk students, keeping them in school, and giving them the support they need to graduate with high-quality degrees.

The second blog post, “Beating the Odds,” profiles junior Hajira Attah. Attah graduated from high school with a 1.7 GPA but was admitted to JCSU through Sit Lux, an intensive program that provides tutoring and mentoring support from admittance through graduation. She now holds a 3.6 GPA and is eyeing graduate school.

The stories, both posted on March 22, 2016, come on the heels of JCSU’s three-day visit to the Gates Foundation February 11-13, 2016. Gates spent the time speaking, learning and sharing with President Ronald L. Carter, CFO Greg Petzke, University College Dean Antonio Henley and four JCSU students, Hajira, Katherine Bartholomew, Earlee Corbin and Austin Jacques. The students shared their stories of determination and how JCSU helped them overcome educational obstacles. Jacques personally taught the mogul how to dab.

Obviously impressed, Gates said, “I was reminded that the most important reason to go to college is not just a diploma, but a greater sense of self-worth and purpose in your life.”

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