Shaunqeitra Person is a study in perseverance. Her positive attitude, and help from Camp Community College staff, helped her achieve her goal of graduating with a degree and dreams of moving on to further her education.
Person is the student speaker at Camp’s 50th Annual Commencement Exercises on May 14. The ceremony will be held virtually on the college’s YouTube channel. Person will graduate with an Associate Degree in Business Administration. Her next goal is to transfer to Norfolk State University to pursue a degree in psychology to become a licensed counselor and life coach. Her long-term mission is to “transform lives by expressing faith and denouncing fear to assist each person with becoming the best version of themselves while also assisting them with making good choices.”
“After I graduated from high school, I was struggling with fear and anxiety, which kept me from being successful,” Person said. “I had low self-esteem and depression.”
Falling back on her experiences and research, she has started a non-profit called fearless, which is designed to help people get through these issues and make good choices. “My goal is to do motivational speaking geared toward people with anxiety and depression. Also, giving social media tips from personal experience and blogs about my journey and how I overcame anxiety, depression, and bad choices.”
On top of problems with anxiety and depression, Person felt the consequences of not having training beyond high school.
“I always felt I was one of the smartest people in the room, but I didn’t have a degree,” she noted. “I had the knowledge and skill set but I lost out on opportunities because of not having a degree.”
Person said that her family, friends, and the Student Support Services team at Camp was instrumental in helping her get to the finish line for her degree. After a few false starts in college, and then a successful year at Liberty University, she came back to Camp. Person was a participant in the TRiO Student Support Services Program. SSS helps college students who are low income, first generation (those whose parents do not have a four-year college degree) or students with disabilities. The array of services the grant will provide are comprehensive and will include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses, and other forms of assistance.
“These services enhance academic success and make it more likely that students will graduate or transfer with the lowest possible debt,” said Dr. Hyler Scott, SSS Director.
“When I came to the college, I met Chris Ricks. She helped me get started again,’ Person said. “And Ms. Evelyn Turner and Ms. LaRhonda Wynne, and Dr. Scott also helped. Ms. Ricks told me her story and it gave me motivation and helped me to believe again. The support team gave me the tools to get back on the right track to be successful.”
While at Camp, Person was also a wife, mother of two, had a full-time job, and was a full-time student.
In her commencement speech, Person tells her story of how “Dreams Come True at Camp Community College”.
“We must be open to good possibilities, even if we’re not sure what packages they’ll come in. Never allow fear to be a part of any choice we make,” she said. “Fear strips us of the ability to see beyond where we are and holds us hostage to our current circumstance.
“For years, I allowed fear to hinder me from my purpose, and it stopped me from dreaming. One day I decided to walk into Paul D. Camp Community College and take my life back!”