Sheanal Carter: B-CU Changed My Life


Welcome to First Person Singular, a new feature for the Voice of the Wildcats, where students get to tell their own stories of triumph, adversity, travel and the like in their voice. 

In 2015, I took a chance of a lifetime. I left the city where I had lived in for the majority of my life Detroit, Michigan and headed to Daytona Beach, Florida.

Carter. Personal archive photo
Carter. Personal archive photo

I can still remember the day like it was yesterday. It was the first time I would be out on my own and I would be over 17 hours away from home. Ironically none of this dawned on me until it was time to be on my way.

Once I arrived at Bethune-Cookman University, it took time for me, like so many others, to adjust. It was not until the second semester of my freshman year that I realized what was my real purpose for being here. I wish that I could say that I figured it all out on my own but that was not the case. It wasn't until I attended the League of Black Women's Conference with the School of Business and Entrepreneurship that I realized my true potential.

At the conference, I met so women from so many places achieving the unthinkable. Doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, activists, and CEOs filled the room with skin tones in all different hues of brown. This was the first time in my life that I realized how powerful it was to be a black woman and how proud I should be to say that I am one.

"You can't help where you came from, but you sure can help where you're going!" - Sheanal Carter

After the conference, I earned my very first internship with the Wayne County Commissioners of Michigan. During my time there I served as a legislative aide for the chairperson of the commission Alisha Bell-who also happened to be the youngest in the office. Working as a legislative aide for two consecutive summers showed me what my true passion is people. I love to see the well being of people and the only way to see this happen on a large spectrum is through political and community involvement. As much as people hate politics, proper political leaders give the people a voice.

After attending the conference, I thrived to be the best in all that I do, achieving the unthinkable. I am now the president of the Junior Class, Miss Housing and Residence Life, and the treasurer of the campus chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants. Also, a part of three executive boards while still working as a residential assistant and maintain a spot on the honor roll.

It has been my goal to not only thrive in leadership but serve as a role model to all of the people I encounter.

"At present, our country needs women's idealism and determination, perhaps more in politics than anymore else," said Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Today, 50 years later, the same is true, which is why I aspire to be the first black women elected as mayor of Detroit.

We need more women of color aspiring to hold chief executive officer and elected official positions. We have to be the change we want to see in our communities. It is our jobs as women to serve as a vessel of hope to all the little girls that come from the ghetto like many of us and inspire them to do the unthinkable.

You can't help where you came from, but you sure can help where you're going!

By Sheanal Carter