March 9, 2016
Kennesaw, Ga.—“You must be what?” Joe Morton asks Kerry Washington. “Twice as—“ she said. “Twice as good to get half of what they have!” Joe Morton said. For young, African American children, this scene from ABC’s hit show, Scandal, is very familiar reality. According to the Harvard Business Review, African Americans receive twice as much scrutiny as their white colleagues. In order to combat against social discrimination, young black children have learned that they must be twice as smart, twice as talented and work twice as hard.
Celebrity disk jokey and philanthropist, Beverly Bond, noticed a need of celebration for the black community, especially for young girls and women. In 2006, she founded the nonprofit organization, Black Girls Rock, a multifaceted movement dedicated to shifting the cultural paradigms of media/music messaging that often negatively impacts women (blackgirlsrock.com). Every year, BGR hosts an award ceremony to honor both celebrities and non-celebrities who reiterate BGR’s mission. However, there are black girl in our community who rock everyday, especially at Kennesaw State University.
According to the Kennesaw State University fact book, 58 percent of the student population are women and 35 percent of the student population is African American. Four young women on KSU’s campus stand out because of their scholastic achievement, community service, entrepreneurship and campus involvement. Za’Kazia Morgan, Aniq Heard, Terria Byrdsong and Jessica Stewart are all black girls who rock.
Za’Kazia Morgan is a sophomore at KSU majoring in business with a 3.15 grade point average. She comes from a small town Sikeston, Missouri, but was raised in College Park, Georgia. Like most college students, Morgan tried to find a part-time job to help pay for her tuition and books, but had trouble finding work.
“My freshman year of college, I was broke, and no one was trying to hire a “Za’Kazia”, so I did what I had to do,” Morgan said. She developed her interest in cosmetology by conducting research of the proper way to style hair and used her friends as Guinea pigs for practice.
“I was as transparent as possible to my clients, and more than willing to fix any mistakes I may have made along the way (trial and error),” Morgan said. “I’m proud to say that in 3 years, I’ve only had to issue two refunds in my work so far.” Morgan’s work has earned her the nick name, “your college girl’s favorite stylist”. Morgan overcame her obstacle of not being able to find work by creating an avenue for herself. This is why she rocks.
Aniq Heard’s story is slightly different. Born and raised in Marietta, Georgia, Aniq is a senior at KSU and a public relations major. She interned with the Atlanta-based blogging company, Broadcasting Beauty, but felt as if she had absorbed all should could from that opportunity. Aniq took her experiences from Broadcasting Beauty and began her own company, Heard It All Media. Heard It All Media is a company that offers a myriad of services that include, daily entertainment, full event coverage, event promotion and public relation services.
“I came up with the name mainly to incorporate my name is some way…” Heard said. “…And also because I literally want to know everything that’s going from celebrity news to networking events that everyone can benefit and gain from.”
Aniq Heard is starting small by managing a salon in Atlanta, but plans to take her company nationwide after graduation in December 2016. This is why Aniq Heard Rocks.
Terria Byrdsong is another hard-working, young, black girl at KSU. She is also a senior at KSU who currently majors in business. Byrdsong is involved with several organization on Kennesaw’s campus such as T.R.U.S.T. KSU, Owl Radio, and Delta Sigma Pi—a business fraternity.
“Delta sigma Pi is a co-Ed business fraternity that specializes in community service with others, professionalism in the business world and also the development of networking skills,” Byrdsong said.
Byrdsong has received a certificate of appreciation from Someone Cares Atl for her community service and her efforts to bring awareness to HIV and AIDS. She is currently campaigning to become the vice president of social chair for Delta Sigma Pi and community service chair for T.R.U.S.T. KSU. Terria Byrdsong, this is why she rocks.
Lastly, Jessica Stewart is a young, black girl who rocks. Stewart is a junior at KSU majoring in mass communication with a 3.61 GPA. She too is involved with several organizations at Kennesaw State. She is a Resident Assistant in the University Village Suites, a member of TRUST KSU, the Special Events Committee Co-Chair in Kennesaw Activity Board. Stewart was recently awarded the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges award.
According to KSU’s office of Dean of Students, since 1934, the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges organization has been honored outstanding campus leaders annually for their scholastic, co-curricular, leadership and community achievements. This year, 300 students applied and only 175 students were awarded.
“When I won, it made me feel really special because I knew a lot of students applied,” Stewart said.
Stewart went on to say, she felt like the school (KSU) cared about her efforts and she no longer felt like a number. Her scholastic efforts in college mirror her work as a high achiever as she came from a magnet elementary, middIe and high school.
“I like to use the award as a way to push me even further,” Stewart said. “I know that I have plenty more room to grow and I want to see how far I can get.” (936)