“First-generation college students have unique backgrounds and experiences,” said Scott whose mom was murdered by a police officer when she was only 6-years old. Her family rallied around her to ensure she received a quality education; thereby becoming the first in her family to attend college and graduate college.
Nevertheless, the tragic event changed her life forever, but Scott refused to park in the trauma and grief of growing up without her mother. So, she decided to pursue college. In 2003, she left the south side of Chicago when she was accepted at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN. Scott candidly shares how she struggled with imposter syndrome by being a first-generation college student.
“Students need to know they deserve to be in better spaces than what they came from,” says Dr. Scott. “My mission is to normalize self-acceptance and college acceptance for Black students.”
She feels it is her personal responsibility to ensure she is not the last in her family to graduate college while making sure other first-generation college students are not the last in their families to graduate college either.
Dr. Scott’s vision is to create an inclusive and diverse higher education work environment that reflects the student body, instead of an agency that repels or rebukes them. She tells how education will always be one of the vehicles that accelerates greatness. However, education should never be the entity that contributes to stagnation for anyone. This explains why she works relentlessly to ensure that education is not only accessible but equitable.
Dr. Scott chronicles life lessons, leadership pitfalls, and how she failed forward in her academic career that started almost two decades ago. She started out serving non-traditional students at trade schools such as ITT Technical Institute, Victory University, and Anthem College (to name a few). Scott continued to climb the higher education ladder and landed her dream job at Vanderbilt University. She went from being a director of admissions in a strip mall to landing a great position at one of the top universities in the country, Vanderbilt University. It was during her four-year tenure at the prestigious institution that Scott experienced a rude awakening, but she did not back down. Instead, she held leadership accountable to their own governing policies – the same policies employees sign off on to ensure a workplace free of inequities, racism, and sexism.
About the author
Dr. Carjie Scott believes once you accept yourself, it becomes easier for you to advocate for yourself as well as for those who will follow in your footsteps.
She also reveals how rising college students can be accepted into a college for free anywhere in the United States. In 2017, she released an ebook titled, How to Go to College For Free in Tennessee.
She has publications in The Tennessee Tribune, Medium, xoNecole, and her personal blog and website at CarjieScott.com. Dr. Scott received the Karen Dolan Spirit Award and Communications Committee of the Year Award in 2019 from the Vanderbilt University Staff Advisory Council.
She was also named one of Nashville’s Emerging Leader finalists by YP Nashville and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, she was a nominee for Women who Rock Nashville. She earned the Admissions Voice to Voice Award and Admissions Excellence award while at Vatterott Career College.
She is married to Dr. Kerwin Scott, DDS, and is the mother of their two beautiful blessings, Channing Scott and Kerwin Scott Jr. She loves reading, relaxing on the beach, and helping underprivileged communities.
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