When Te’Dajia Davenport’s grandmother, Vivian Hoover, saw a TV spot on AT & T’s “Dream in Black Rising Future Makers”, she encouraged the South Carolina State University senior to apply. .
âI probably did my video 15 times before I got it right,â Davenport said. âI was tripping over my words. I told my grandma on the last attempt that this would be my last, and if I hadn’t done it right I just wouldn’t. But my grandmother said to me, “Don’t worry, you got it”, and I did. I really didn’t expect to be chosen at all.
AT & T’s Dream in Black Rising Future Makers program rewards students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who have a positive impact within their communities and campuses. The program is part of AT&T’s efforts to empower future leaders and dedicate resources to initiatives that foster economic growth and innovation within the HBCU community.
According to AT&T, the 25 laureates aspire to become future professionals, such as state senators, journalists or entrepreneurs, or supplement their training with a doctorate. The students were selected not only for their past achievements, but also for their future projects.
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Davenport noted that several award recipients have come from schools as large and renowned as Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T State University, Hampton University and Howard University.
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âIt definitely puts SC State on the map with these other schools,â Davenport said. âIt means a lot to me that a little girl from SC State has been chosen and that she has this great opportunity. “
Davenport’s video app partly highlighted his experiences in SC State’s speech-language pathology and audiology program.
âTe’Dajia has demonstrated a commitment to high standard academic performance and clinical service during her time in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology,â said Dr. Jessica Berry, Acting Department Chair. âShe excelled as a clinical student in our campus clinic and local child care centers.
âWe are proud of the work she does and that AT&T has found value in her skills as an emerging leader. We know that as a ‘Rising Future Maker’ she will campaign to make better speaking and better hearing accessible to all, âsaid Berry.
Davenport initially wanted to become a teacher, but at her mother’s suggestion she turned to speech therapy as a career.
This research led her to SC State, where the field has become a major topic.
âIt was the only school I even applied to because I knew I wanted to go hereâ¦ it was the right program,â Davenport said. âThey said 99% of graduates get jobs. It was all I needed to hear.
With the goal of eventually starting his own speech therapy practice, Davenport plans to enroll in graduate school after graduating from SC State next May. She sees herself working with children.
Growing up in Aiken and later Allendale, South Carolina, Davenport was an only child until her mother’s new marriage brought five younger siblings into her life.
âI really want to work in schools. I love kids, “she said.” I was an only child for 18 or 19 years. I didn’t know what I missed in my life growing up, and then just like that, I ‘ve had this feeling with my younger siblings.
âI love them. I always want to help them. They drive me and they’re the reason I want to work with kids,â Davenport said.
In addition to a $ 5,000 prize presented by AT&T 5G, each Dream in Black Rising Future Maker receives a suite of technological tools.
The winners took an expense paid trip to Greensboro, NC, where the 25 academics networked with each other and advocates such as current HBCU student and NBA champion JR Smith, the actress / entrepreneur La La Anthony and actor Terrence J. to support their travels.
âIt means a lot,â Davenport said. âThey go to other HBCUs and can give me information. I might want to go to one of these schools for graduate studies. It just broadens my horizon – my view of everything. “
Davenport’s selection also meant she was able to invite a guest to join her on the trip to Greensboro. Who did she choose? Vivian Hoover, the grandmother who suggested she apply, of course.
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“I am delighted that my grandmother has this opportunity,” said Davenport. âShe told me about it. I am a family oriented person and my grandmother and I are very close.