Jill Scott’s Honorary Doctorate Should be an Inspiration to Young Women

jill-scottIt’s graduation season. While many graduates took the traditional route – graduating high school, heading to a four-year college, then walking the stage to receive their undergraduate diplomas – some folks weren’t so lucky. Songstress and Philly native Jill Scott is one such person who never got a chance to finish her academic career at Temple University. But, the school recently awarded her an honorary doctorate anyway. Stories like these underscore how valuable it is to continue working toward one’s goals even after setbacks happen.

The university president, Neil D. Theobald, articulated the decision simply by saying that Scott’s “values and achievement embody the mission and ideas of the university.” As such, they awarded her with a Doctor of Humane Letters just last week.

Scott studied secondary education at Temple before she had to dropout for financial reasons. And, although some of our most brilliant minds have been college dropouts like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, the title of “dropout” doesn’t usually bode as well for women of color. Generational gaps in wealth attainment and overall disparities with whites leave many women of color between the rock and hard place of choosing between cultivating their own dreams or working to take care of their families. Far too often, black women are burdened with the duties of the household which limit their ability to achieve their personal goals. For Jill Scott, her dropping out of college could have been a stopping point for her. Instead, she pursued her dreams. And it has paid off handsomely.

There is no question that Scott deserves the doctoral degree. Her contributions to music have garnered her three Grammy wins and countless nominations not to mention her innumerable nominations and wins at the BET, Image, Soul Train, and Lady of Soul Awards. Her music has provided us with women’s empowerment anthems and reflective ballads that ring down to our souls. And, she has even wowed us on screen in hit movies like “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Baggage Claim.” Her crossover talent pales in comparison to her beauty and positivity as a shining example of what a thriving woman of color looks like.

She also started the Blues Babe Foundation – an organization to help low-income students pay for college.

She has proven that it wasn’t her inability to complete her education that has defined her. Instead, it has been her drive, poise, and personal conviction to do more than many ever imagine in their lives that led her through her life.

Young women of color who have struggled with attaining their education can look to Scott as an example of what it means to overcome. Women who have faced adversity – whether it be an unexpected pregnancy, family illness, or financial obligations – can take a note from Scott’s ambition that obstacles should never stifle a lifelong dream.worthSignature She is living our her worth. Hopefully young women of color are watching and learning from her example.

values and achievements embody the mission and ideas of the university
Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2014/05/jill-scott-to-receive-honorary-doctorate-from-temple-university/#Z7SJ2bB3fAAPeMxH.99
values and achievements embody the mission and ideas of the university
Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2014/05/jill-scott-to-receive-honorary-doctorate-from-temple-university/#Z7SJ2bB3fAAPeMxH.99
values and achievements embody the mission and ideas of the university
Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2014/05/jill-scott-to-receive-honorary-doctorate-from-temple-university/#Z7SJ2bB3fAAPeMxH.99
values and achievements embody the mission and ideas of the university
Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2014/05/jill-scott-to-receive-honorary-doctorate-from-temple-university/#Z7SJ2bB3fAAPeMxH.99
values and achievements embody the mission and ideas of the university
Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2014/05/jill-scott-to-receive-honorary-doctorate-from-temple-university/#Z7SJ2bB3fAAPeMxH.99