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Taking Stock During Black History Month Higher Education Plays a Role in Realizing Two Families' Dreams

 

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Akilah Bradford explores life possibilities with her high-school-aged daughter, and tells her not to limit herself.

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Kimberly Michaelson, from left, Kathy Broome, Michael Cobb and Georgia Bozeday.

History isn’t shaped only by wars and political leaders. It’s also about the choices individuals make to change life for themselves and their families.

Each of us, by choosing to get a bachelor’s or advanced degree and pursue a career in our chosen field, is staking a claim for a life we want. We to set higher possibilities for our children’s generation. And taken together, we are a force that shapes societies, cities and economies.

In honor of Black History Month, we asked two African-American National Louis University alumnae to reflect on how the past and present, and their experiences at NLU, shaped their lives and those of their families.

Kathy Broome became a role model for her sister during her time at NLU.

“As the first of my family to receive a degree, my family is extremely proud,” she said. “My sister heard of my wonderful experiences at NLU and earned her degree from (NLU) as well.”

Broome, who earned her B.A. in Business Administration in 2006, said she has earned two promotions and several pay increases since she graduated.

Akilah Bradford, who earned her M.S. in human resources management and development in 2003 and her MBA in 2006, said earning her two advanced degrees has been transformational.

“I cannot begin to describe how my journey at NLU changed my life,” she said, ticking off benefits such as career advancement, lifelong business relationships and friendships, the ability to give back and mentor students and being a great role model for her daughter.

“(My daughter) has been able to witness and be impacted by me obtaining advanced degrees at NLU,” Bradford said.  “Obtaining my degrees has been life-changing!”

She plays a role in encouraging the next generation by teaching her daughter, a high school freshman, about African-American history. Building on her daughter’s interest in sports journalism, they research African-Americans in that industry. And they discuss the possibility of her daughter, a bowler, being the first female African-American professional bowler to be the face of a bowling ball brand.

“It is important to me that she not limit herself,” Bradford said, “and sharing the stories of individuals in the past who accomplished what many thought was impossible shows her she can do anything!”