This upcoming fall, Irving High School senior Azariah McGill will embark on her journey as a first-generation college student at Texas Southern University. When deciding where to continue her education, McGill says attending an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) was always a top priority. Growing up, she felt inspired by HBCU culture and wanted to experience it for herself. However, there was a time when McGill debated whether or not college would be the right fit for her.
McGill was diagnosed with dyslexia in fifth grade, and although she says that came with challenges, she has remained determined not to let it hold her back.
“Dyslexia doesn’t define me,” says McGill. “That’s something my mom always taught me. She has always been in my corner to cheer me on and remind me that I can overcome anything.”
McGill’s story is a true testament to her resilience. Even though she describes her senior year as a bit challenging, she still managed to rise in the midst of adversaries. Not only was McGill enrolled in dual-credit courses to advance her college education, she also received scholarships from the Irving Schools Foundation and the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. McGill credits Delta Sigma Theta and Irving High School counselor Jennifer Mitchell for serving as cultural inspirations and examples of what she can achieve at an HBCU.
When speaking about her road to graduation, McGill says she’s grateful to Mitchell and Irving High School College, Career and Military Readiness (CCMR) Coach Iris Hill for always pushing her to keep going when times got difficult throughout the school year. Even when she debated attending college, Mitchell and Hill assured her that she could do it.
“I have had the honor of working with Azariah this school year, and she is a passionate, outgoing, driven and motivated student,” says Hill. “I have no doubt that she will do amazing things at Texas Southern.”
McGill looks forward to starting a new chapter of her life, and she knows when times get difficult, she has a great support system at home she can lean on.
Due to taking dual-credit courses, she’s on track to graduate with her bachelor’s degree early and plans to continue her education at Texas Southern’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law with hopes of becoming a lawyer.