Cheyney's Anitra Jackson Named Pennsylvania's Only White House HBCU Initiative 2016 All-Star

August 19, 2016

Anitra Jackson, a 19-year-old Keystone Honors Academy Scholar, will represent Cheyney University as Pennsylvania's only White House Initiative on HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) 2016 HBCU All-Star

Anitra Jackson, a 19-year-old Keystone Honors Academy Scholar, will represent Cheyney University as Pennsylvania's only White House Initiative on HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) 2016 HBCU All-Star

Anitra Jackson, a Keystone Honors Academy (KHA) Scholar and Miss Cheyney University 2016, is the only Pennsylvania college student selected to serve as an ambassador for the White House Initiative on HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) as a 2016 HBCU All-Star Student. The US Department of Education made the announcement today. Jackson and 72 other students beat out hundreds of other students across the nation, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Virgin Islands for the prestigious honor. 

“I'm speechless. It feels absolutely amazing,” the 19-year-old exclaimed. “I was so enthusiastic about this upcoming year as Miss Cheyney, but now that I hear this news as well, it just makes me even more excited.”

The third class of HBCU All-Stars is comprised of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Each was selected because of their accomplishments in academics, leadership, and civic engagement.

“During the course of one academic school year, the 73 All-Stars will distinguish themselves as exemplars of the talent that HBCUs cultivate and as noble ambassadors of their respective institutions,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “The Initiative is looking forward to working with this third class of All-Stars and is confident this opportunity will allow the Initiative to meaningfully connect with HBCU students and advance academic excellence at their schools.”

In addition to being an ambassador to Cheyney, the nation’s 1st HBCU, over the next year, Jackson will provide outreach opportunities and communications to fellow Cheyney students about the value of education and encourage them to use the Initiative as a networking resource. She’ll use social media and network with community-based organizations in order to get the word out about proven practices that support all young people in realizing their educational and career goals. According to the US Department of Education, the All-Stars will also participate in the White House HBCU Week Conference, national and regional events, and webinars with Initiative staff and other professionals on a range of disciplines that support a spirit of engagement and personal and professional development.

“I’m most looking forward to meeting the other students in the program and networking with them in order to gain new and improved leadership skills that I can implement at Cheyney. I hope to make connections and gain new life experiences. I also want to make Cheyney University proud of me and show my fellow students that they can achieve their goals despite any obstacles in their way. Just because you come from a small school or town, does not mean that you are inferior.”

The youngest of three girls from Boothwyn, PA has a very busy year ahead. The junior is double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics, is a member of the Cross Country, Tennis and Track and Field teams, the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, the Keystone Honors Council, the Student Athletic Academic Council, an honors mentor and is also an Executive Board Member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. How will she juggle it all?

“With time management,” she proclaims. “I always keep a planner and use the schedule on my phone to keep me on track. I also have the help of my advisors, family, and friends.”

“We're looking forward to working with this new class of HBCU All Stars,” said Deputy Under Secretary of Education and Acting Executive Director White House Initiative on HBCUs Kim Hunter Reed. “Our goal is to provide a unique opportunity for these talented students that exposes them to critical national conversations and thought leaders. No doubt they will make their mark and represent their campuses well.”

Jackson follows in the footsteps of Ahn-yea Graham who, in 2014, was one of first class of 75 White House HBCU All-Stars and the only PA student. Like Jackson, Graham was a KHA scholar and an over-achieving student leader at Cheyney, serving as Student Government President and, later, as an Intern at the U.S. Department of Labor. Both took advantage of opportunities offered by Cheyney, including a free ride in the Keystone Honors Academy which makes getting an education less stressful when you take financial obligations out of the equation.

“I have been afforded numerous opportunities such as the opportunity to present at the PASSHE (PA State System of Higher Education) Honors Conference, attend the annual HBCU Leadership for Queens and Kings Konnection Conference in New Orleans, LA, attend professional development workshops, volunteer in outreach programs, and most importantly, gain real work experience though my summer internship at Temple University where I studied the Gold Synthesis of Nanoparticles in an effort for researchers to one day use them in the healthcare industry.”

Jackson hopes to be a computer engineer one day. For now, though, she is anxious to represent her University in the nation’s capital, at the White House, and serve as an Ambassador on the campus that she loves.

“I chose Cheyney because I wanted to learn more about African American culture along with learning about the extraordinary accomplishments of African Americans,” she explains. “I love the family atmosphere at Cheyney and that the professors and staff members are so personable and eager to help you.”

Jackson and the 2016 All-Star Class will work together and as a group and network with one another to achieve their goals.  See below for a complete list of the 2016 HBCU All-Stars.

Birmingham – JerAnthony Colvin, Talladega College, Talladega, Ala.
Catherine – Shannon Baldwin, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College, Huntsville, Ala.
Tuscaloosa – Jasmine Lavendar, Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Opelousas – Russell Williams, Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Ark.

Los Angeles – Paris Adkins-Jackson, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Md.
Riverside – Breanna Lumpkin, Lane College, Jackson, Tenn.

Norwalk – Andre Earls, Wiley College, Marshall, Texas

Brittney Young – Howard University, District of Columbia

Fort Lauderdale – Kennedy James, Virginia State University, Petersburg, Va.
Miami Gardens – Dominique Nicholson , Florida Memorial University, Miami Gardens, Fla.
Miami – Kiara Johnson, Houston-Tillotson University, Austin, Texas
Tampa – Victoria Harrison, Bethune Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Fla.

Albany – Angelica Howard, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga.
Albany – Chelsea Basley, Albany State University, Albany, Ga.
Atlanta – Jarell Jordan, Morehouse College, Atlanta, Ga.
Atlanta – Gabriel Carter, Oakwood University, Huntsville, Ala.
Atlanta – Alicia Montgomery, Savannah State University, Savannah, Ga.
Dehli – Vishal Singh, Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Ga.

Abednego Commey, Tougaloo College, Tougalo, Miss.

Chicago – Ashley Reid, Spelman College, Atlanta, Ga.
Chicago – Christopher Simpson, Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Fla.

Baton Rouge – Kalaia Tripeaux, Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, La.
Mount Hernon – Karla Martin, Xavier University, New Orleans, La.
Rustonm – Endiah Green, Grambling State University, Grambling, La.

Baltimore – Wanda Parks, Coppin State University, Baltimore, Md.
Beltsville – Benjamin Webster, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, Md.
Fort Washington – Ashleigh Williams, Hampton University, Hampton, Va.
Lanham – Donovan Blake, Bowie State University, Bowie, Md.
Silver Spring – Rachel Kenlaw, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Detroit – Michael McGee, Hampton University, Hampton, Va.
Detroit – Tiffany Brockington, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Detroit – Vester Waters, Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, Miss.
Oakland Charter Township – JaMon Patterson, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga.

Madison – James Griffin, Jackson State University, Jackson, Miss.
Lamar – Savahn Jordan, Rust College, Holly Springs, Miss.
Raymond – Sabrevian Davis, Hinds Community College, Raymond, Miss.

Blue Springs – Alexis Pulliam, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.
Kansas City – Jeanna Johnson, Dillard University, New Orleans, La.
St. Louis – Jabreia Taylor, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Ky.

Las Vegas – Joselyn Miller, Alabama State University, Montgomery, Ala.

Freehold – Edgar Ortiz, Delaware State University, Dover, Del.
Turnersville – Pearis Bellamy, Hampton University, Hampton, Va.

Brooklyn – Destiny Modeste, Paul Quinn College, Dallas, Texas
Staten Island – Brianna Fugate, Spelman College, Atlanta, Ga.

Temilade Aladeniyi – North Carolina Central University, Durham, N.C.

Concord – Paul McGee, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, N.C.
Durham – Tremell Parker, Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, N.C.
Durham – Asheley Taylor, Bennett College, Greensboro, N.C.
Fayetteville – Kenya Glover, Livingstone College, Salisbury, N.C.
Fayetteville – Terrance McNeil, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Fla.
Henderson – Niya Brooks, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, N.C.
Lexington – Deja Young, North Carolina Central University, Durham, N.C.

Akron – Britney Gibbs, Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio

Muskogee – Nicholas Simon, Langston University, Langston, Okla.

Boothwyn – Anitra Jackson, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Cheyney, Pa. 

Aynor – Malcom Shealer, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn.
Orangeburg – Kingsley Uche, Claffin University, Orangeburg, S.C.
Orangeburg – Quinn Smith, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, S.C.

Memphis – Janeisha Harris, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tenn.
Memphis – Jasmine Dean, Rust College, Holly Springs, Miss.
Memphis – Kimble James, LeMoyne Owen College, Memphis, Tenn.

DeSoto – Wendon Blair, Jarvis Christian College, Hawkins, Texas
Houston – Kaleb Taylor, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas
Houston – Sekia Wyatt, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas
Manville – Elijah Sharpe, Lincoln University of Missouri, Jefferson City, Mo.
San Antonio – Damon Lake, St. Phillips College, San Antonio, Texas
Texarkana – Stacy Roberson, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga.

Bristow – Chayse Lavallais, Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University, Prairie View, Texas
Newport News – Ravin Vick, Norfolk State College, Norfolk, Va.
Norfolk – Na’eem Wilkins, Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C.
Richmond – Danielle Ebelle, Virginia Union University, Richmond, Va.

Bluefield – Michael Bennett, Bluefield State University, Bluefield, W.Va.

St. Kitts – Joash Liburd, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Kitts, UVI