Fantasia Barrino decided to go back to school after dropping out at age 14.
The season-three “American Idol” winner announced in an Instagram Live session that she recently enrolled in college. Though Barrino did not disclose any information about what school she’s attending, or what she’s studying, the 38-year-old did give credit to her Sigma Gamma Rho sorority sister whose name she referred to as Yvonne, for supporting her throughout this exciting journey.
“I went back to school, I went back to school. Shoutout to my soror Yvonne,” Barrino said in the short clip. “Uhh she’s back in school, I’m back in school. We push each other.”
In November 2022, Barrino shared with her 5 million Instagram followers that she was inducted as an honorary member of Sigma Gamma Rho. She wore a long black gown in video footage of the induction, which shows a room full of women dressed in royal blue and gold, praying and chatting together.
“Y’all have no idea how long I been waiting to share this news!! I’ve been inducted as an Honorary #SigmaGammaRho. #D9 #sorority #prettypoodle,” Barrino captioned the short clip. “THANK YOU… I am overjoyed.”
Obtaining a diploma is a monumental step for Barrino, who struggled with literacy as an adolescent. When she was merely a freshman, the now mother of three decided to drop out of school. Though Barrino’s reason behind exiting high school initially had nothing to do with her illiteracy, she admitted later that she barely was able to read and write.
As noted in her 2006 biopic, “Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story,” she said she believed education wasn’t a necessity because she wanted to become a singer.
The “Lose to Win” singer’s mindset surrounding the importance of education seemed to have shifted as she grew older because in 2009, Barrino went back to her hometown in Greensboro, North Carolina, and received her GED during the graduation ceremony at Andrews High School.
At the time, Barrino credited her then 7-year-old daughter, Zion Quari Barrino, whom she had at 17, and her then 15-year-old brother as her biggest inspirations for going back to school.
“I have a lot of young people who look up to me, like my 15-year-old brother and 7-year-old daughter,” she previously said. “It’s something that I really need to do and that I want to do.”
Barrino now has two more younger ones to look up to her. Her daughter is now 20-years-old, and the Grammy-nominated artist also now has a son, Dallas Xavier Barrino, 11, with ex-boyfriend Antwaun Cook. In 2021, she also gave birth to another girl, Keziah London Taylor, 1, whom she shares with her husband, Kendall Taylor.