Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bishop State cures the homesick blues for this student

Bishop State cures the homesick blues for this student

LeShantel Wright was an active student at Mobile’s Blount High School. Whether it was being named Ms. Freshman, or serving as a class officer, she didn’t shy away from extra activities that require drive and ambition. But leaving home to attend a four-year college proved too much for the Mobile native, so when homesickness drove her home after one semester away, she enrolled at Bishop State and found just what she was looking for.

“At first I thought I would just take a couple of classes, and then transfer to South Alabama,” Wright said. “But I grew to love it at Bishop State. I got real close to the staff and faculty, and I just like the whole environment.”

Using the drive and ambition she had in high school, Wright has taken advantage of every opportunity given her, including recently auditioning for, and winning, the title of Ms. Bishop State. The competition was a pageant format, with a panel of judges evaluating the contestants on everything from poise and talent, to wit. It was a new passion that Wright developed at Bishop State—interpreting in American Sign Language—that won her the talent portion of the competition.

“I interpreted the song “Heroes” by Mariah Carey in American Sign Language,” she said. “I came out in an evening gown like I was going to sing, and when the music started, I signed. It was really fun.”

Becoming an interpreter in ASL was yet another twist in the road. Wright was going over the course schedule with an advisor, looking for an elective. She didn’t need the CPR or First Aid classes that were offered, as she was already certified as a lifeguard. She signed up for the ASL course, thinking she’d just take the one class and be done with it.

“Once I got into it (ASL), I thought ‘I love this!’ It was a whole other world,” she said.

Wright has now applied for Bishop State’s nursing program, hoping to enter in the fall. She’s working toward becoming a nurse practitioner, so eventually, she said, she’ll enroll in a four-year college.

This time, she’ll have more confidence and even a little help from family—Wright’s first cousin graduated from Bishop State, and is now doing his residency in medicine.

For now, though, she’s found her new home—close to home—at Bishop State.

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