During President Obama’s last commencement speech of his presidency, Obama singles out student Ciearra Jefferson in front of her Howard University graduating class Saturday.
In a Sunday interview with CNN‘s Fredricka Whitfield, Jefferson talks about how she turned down a Harvard scholarship to attend Howard University. Jefferson tells Whitfield that she always wanted to go to Howard, pledge a sorority, and that her family encourages “Black excellence.”
Jefferson was raised by a single mom and had always excelled in academics. Her hard work garnered her the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship that pays for her education up to her doctorate’s program. Now, the Southfield, Michigan native wants to be like Thurgood Marshall, helping her community back home.
She tells Whitfield that success for her is when her mother can rest. Now, she is entering a graduate program at Emory University in Atlanta.