As I sit down to write these words, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride and joy. You see, this article isn’t just about anyone—it’s about my incredible daughter, Courtney. From the moment she entered this world, I knew she was destined for greatness, but little did I know just how extraordinary her journey would be! It has been awe-inspiring to watch her flourish from a bright little girl into a beautiful and self-assured young woman.
Courtney’s path has been filled with peaks and valleys. Through every peak, she has epitomized determination, resilience, and an unapologetic belief in herself, her purpose, and her capabilities. In high school, Courtney was often one of the few Black girls in her class. Despite her exceptional intelligence and fervor for community service, she carried the weight of needing to prove herself because of her race. I remember having conversations with her about how she had to be twice as good to get half as much. It broke my heart to see how this affected her, but I knew if I didn’t tell her, no one would. I used my influence as her mother to constantly infuse her mind and spirit with positive affirmations. She would need them to boost her spirit because so often the world tries to break the souls of beautiful Black women. (But Beyonce told us right, “You won’t break my soul!”)
Courtney had her sights set on attending UT Austin after graduating high school. It was even on her vision board, propelling her forward every step of the way. One day while visiting with her guidance counselor, she suffered a devastating blow to her confidence. Courtney’s counselor told her that she should not apply to UT Austin, as it was extremely competitive, and she more than likely would not get in. The counselor’s words were discouraging, to say the least, but Courtney was determined to prove her wrong. She applied anyway.
Graduating high school with a remarkable 4.3 GPA, Courtney tirelessly applied herself to her academics. But it wasn’t just about grades. She devoted over 1,000 hours to community service, and she was an athlete, participating in cheerleading and track and field. Because of her work ethic and dedication to excellence, Courtney received glowing letters of recommendation that spoke volumes about her character and commitment. Unfortunately, her counselor’s words rang true and left her heartbroken when she received a rejection letter from UT Austin.
Although her heart was broken, her soul was not. Eventually, I watched Courtney pick herself up, dust herself off, and use that disappointment to fuel her determination.
Courtney started her college journey at UT San Antonio with the hope that if she excelled there, she would eventually be able to transfer to UT Austin. And excel she did—completing a challenging year-long program and earning her place on the transfer list. My baby did that! At the time, a college admissions scandal involving UT Austin was in the headlines, but Courtney remained focused on her goals and worked extremely hard to earn her place. All her hard work paid off when she was eventually accepted to UT Austin.
At UT Austin, Courtney not only excelled academically, she also became a source of inspiration for others. She dedicated herself to helping fellow students, pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and even became a contributing editor for Cheryl Magazine. After graduating with honors, she embarked on a life-changing journey, teaching English in Grenada, Spain, and exploring Europe’s cultural riches in Ireland and Paris. Her fluency in Spanish opened doors to new opportunities.
Courtney’s ambitions didn’t stop there. This year, she enrolled in a highly competitive medical pre-req program at the University of Pennsylvania, setting her sights on becoming a pediatrician. Despite being told what she could not do, she has consistently achieved excellence and always made the best of every situation. She maintains the belief that anything is possible, persevering when faced with adversity and refusing to accept ‘no’ as the final answer. Courtney found her way to ‘yes’ through determination, hard work, and an unshakeable belief in herself.
Courtney is not just my daughter; she is a shining example of what can be achieved with passion and determination. As her mother, I couldn’t be prouder of the remarkable woman she is becoming. Courtney, you are an inspiration, and I can’t wait to see the incredible journey that lies ahead for you. Keep reaching for the stars, my dear. And the next time someone tries to tell you what you cannot achieve, just laugh—because, Baby Girl, you already did that!
Is there an amazing young woman who makes you proud? Shout her out in the comments!Leave a Comment