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ASU Student Kelcey Wright Named HBCU All-Star by White House

On any given day, Kelcey Wright can be seen strolling the campus, his professional demeanor apparent by a dark blue suit, crisp white shirt and blue and gold tie.

Typically smiling, the senior from Riverdale, Ga, has discovered the secret to success at Albany State University: hard work and determination.  It is that philosophy that is reaping rewards.   

Wright is a 2014 HBCU All-Star for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“As I read the qualities and responsibilities on the nomination form, I knew that Kelcey fit the type of individual they were looking for,” says Dr. Kimberly Gaiters-Fields, interim dean of ASU’s College of Education. “He makes a good first, positive and lasting impression. Not only is he diligent in his studies, but he’s passionate about what and who he believes in.”

One of 75 undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree students chosen for a long list of accomplishments, the middle grades education major will serve as an ambassador, providing outreach and communication about the value of education.

“I received an email from my professors and my dean in the College of Education and they said, ‘Kelcey you should go out for it,’ so I did. I never thought that I would be the person for this position,” Wright admits. “When it came, I was excited. I couldn’t believe I really got it, and I’m glad I did. It shows that hard work never fails as long as you’re patient and continue to do work from the heart.”

But working from the heart is an understatement when it comes to this high achiever. A passion for helping others attain life-long goals and changing the often negative view of black men is what drives Wright to pursue a career in education as a middle school social studies teacher and eventually a school principal. 

 “My passion is making sure minority males are successful and making sure they receive a quality education, reassuring them whatever they want to do they can do,” he states, enthusiastically. “I want to start a minority male program but it will encompass a mentoring, a college readiness, and a professional development program. It will have a lot of different components to it.”  

That Wright was chosen for the White House honor is no surprise to many of the faculty members who work with him daily. With an impressive 3.46 GPA and a resume of campus involvement that includes serving as president of the Holley Ambassadors, membership in the NAACP and Georgia Association of Educators, as well as advisory board member for the College of Education, Wright represents the talent among students at ASU.

“It shows that ASU has produced the caliber of students that [are competitive] among their peer groups at leading HBCUs,” Gaiters-Fields declares. It means that ASU’s story in southwest Georgia will be told nationally. I also see it as a recruiting effort for the best and brightest who may not know about HBCUs or who have a different perception about ASU.”

Over the next year, Wright, along with the other HBCU All-Stars will utilize social media, participate in regional events and leverage their community relationships to showcase individual and collective talent in the HBCU community.

Much of the student leader’s strength and desire to achieve is a result of his family’s overwhelming support and encouragement. That along with faith, Wright says, gets him through each day.   

“My parents have always told me to be happy in life: Never let anything weigh you down to the point that you can’t smile; a smile is worth everything.”

 

Danyelle Gary received a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism at Hampton University in May 2012. She is currently working as a publications specialist in the Office of University Communications at ASU.

 

Bria Ragland, an ASU sophomore mass communication major from Lawrenceville, Ga., assisted with this story.