The validity of today's Historically Black Colleges and Universities is a debate that seems to come up every year. While they may not serve the exact same purpose as they did in the past, in my opinion they are needed just as much, if not more.
My current and future successes would be nowhere near what they are and will be if it was not for Morehouse College. I can say with 100 percent certainty that choosing to attend Morehouse was the best decision I could have ever made for my future.
I was not the best student in high school. As many intelligent students, I found it rather easy to "coast" my way through. I knew that I needed to attend an institution that would recognize and nurture my strengths, and then help me use these strengths to achieve my full potential.
Out of a total of four institutions that I applied to, Morehouse was the only HBCU. It had been my mother's wish since my birth that I eventually attend Morehouse, but I was always a little hesitant due to it being an all-male college.
I was not positive that I wanted to attend Morehouse until the summer before my senior of high school. I participated in a week-long summer program known as the Coca-Cola Pre-College Leadership Program. This program brings 30 students to Morehouse from across the country each year to introduce them to the traits, skills and behaviors necessary for effective 21st-century leadership.
The knowledge and brotherhood that I gained from this week was undoubtedly one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I remember sending my mother a text message during the week stating that if this was what Morehouse was going to be, I refused to spend my college career anywhere else. And as I begin my senior year, I can say that Morehouse has been everything I thought it would be and more.
Because of Morehouse College, I can say that I plan on attending law school following my graduation next spring. Because of Morehouse College, I can say that at 20 years old I have traveled to 10 different countries around the world. Because of Morehouse College, I can say that I have the daily privilege of being around hundreds of other black males who are all striving to become the next great leaders of this world.
I chose to attend Morehouse for the brotherhood; and they gave me that in addition to a multitude of experiences that I could never repay them for. I highly doubt that I would have had these experiences at a larger PWI (predominantly white institution).
I have heard many stories about how easy it is for students to become "just a number" at larger PWIs. I'm sure this is especially true for African-American students as we are not always the "priority of attention" at these institutions.
Morehouse gave me the attention I needed, and took a mediocre student and turned him into a future J.D. candidate. They showed me the man I dream of being, and have put me on track to becoming that man. I will forever be grateful for this gift that they have given me.
Follow Nicolas B. Aziz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@NicoBrierre