The Student Voice of Coastal Carolina University



Black first-generation college students thrive on campus

Curriyah Scott, first-generation honors student

Photo provided by Curriyah Scott.

Freshman Curriyah Scott’s passion for learning burns bright as a Black first-generation college student.


Ambitious and driven, the biochemistry major student always knew she wanted to be a doctor. A beautiful campus and abundant scholarship opportunities convinced Scott to begin her academic journey at Coastal Carolina University.


As a Greenville, South Carolina native, Scott left her hometown to forge her own path. She had little support to guide her through the transition into college life, but she utilized her resources on campus to help with financial aid and classes.


Free from a restrictive environment, Scott figured things out and began thriving on her own.


“I’ve been able to accomplish so much and I did most of it by myself,” Scott said. “Because of the fact that I’m a first-gen, and didn’t have the experience from my parents.”


Students Navigating and Advising Peers (SNAP) is a mentor program designed to help new students integrate into campus life. Scott joined SNAP as a mentee, hoping to find support systems for this transitional period she could not find at home.


According to Scott, SNAP offers community in a new environment to minority groups including students of color, LGBTQ+ students and religious affiliations.


“SNAP is a really helpful group for students who either don’t know how to navigate through college, or don’t know how to navigate through their community,” Scott said.


Peers may find Scott attending Women of Color (WOC) meetings, at one of her two campus jobs, performing at upcoming basketball games with Coastal’s new Stomp and Shake cheer team or playing club rugby. On top of her long list of extracurriculars, Scott is also an honors student.


As a hardworking and involved person, she balances everything on her schedule.


Recently, she was selected to participate in Alpha Phi Alpha’s Miss Old Black and Gold scholarship pageant with the Nu Phi chapter. Winners represent the Alpha’s at higher level competitions, and Scott is eager to continue the process.


“We’re supposed to be getting an opportunity to express beauty, to express our scholarship, and to express ourselves as a person for a specific platform,” Scott said.


Her chosen platform is mental health. Scott was open with The Chanticleer about her mental health obstacles and how she worked to overcome her struggles with Student Health and Counseling Services.


“I ended up getting a therapist and so I was able to work through that,” Scott said. “Now, I’ve noticed how my mind works and when I have good days and bad days, and what’s going to make me have good days and bad days.”


Scott said she is proud of all she has accomplished since venturing out on her own through her recognition on dean’s list and various scholarships.


Ashanti Grant, first-generation student

Photo provided by Ashanti Grant.

Junior Ashanti Grant is a marketing major with a minor in Chinese. As the only one out of her siblings to leave for school, Grant had to find her own way.


Grant is originally from Brooklyn, New York, but became interested in Coastal Carolina University when her parents moved to the Myrtle Beach area. Despite having her parents near to her, she decided to live on campus rather than to commute to learn about the college experience from peers in the same boat.


While the culture down south is different than what Grant is used to, she enjoys the atmosphere.


“I think having a lot of differences around you is a good thing because that way you get to see into other peoples’ culture,” Grant said.


Although it wasn’t her initial plan, college felt like the right option for Grant. She soon discovered her spark through digital and social media marketing.


As a first-generation student, Grant had no idea what to expect coming into college. She was unsure of campus or what classes would look like, and worried about finding community.


“I feel like I kind of came in blindsided, and I just had to figure things out on my own,” she said.


Students Navigating and Advising Peers (SNAP) is a program meant to help first-generation students transition into college. Grant is a mentor to help new students navigate their freshman year, hoping to provide the support she didn’t have.


Grant has earned her spot on dean’s list. She was selected to be part of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), which prepares students for leadership roles.


Grant stays fully booked between her school work, job and tutoring for business statistics. Learning to balance her workload has been her biggest challenge in college.


She is learning to overcome these challenges through time management.


Through her unique college experience, Grant has found great people and is grateful for the experiences under her belt.


“I kind of love it because it allows me to go through college on my own path, I don’t really have an expectation to live up to,” Grant said.


Grant has come to understand how changing mindsets can open a realm of possibilities. Opening herself to new possibilities has allowed her to take advantage of the opportunities she’s given.


Grant said she looks forward to what the future may hold.


“I came to understand that not everything is going to be the way that you want it to,” she said, “and I’m okay with that.”


Sharicontay Davis, first-generation honors student

Photo provided by Sharicontay Davis

Sophomore Sharicontay Davis, a public health major at Coastal Carolina University, strives to be a leader and role model in every aspect of her life. With a concentration in healthcare administration, Davis aims to make both large-scale and personal impacts in the healthcare community. 


Making up one-third of Black students in her field, Davis said she pushes herself and thrives by overcoming stigmas and stereotypes.  


Davis is originally from Florence, South Carolina and likes to visit home when she can. Davis chose to attend college to break a pattern in her family and be a role model for her younger brothers.  


“As a first-generation student, I wanted to make a change in my family,” Davis said. “I wanted to be the first person to make that big step and push myself to finish college.” 


Davis joined Students Navigating and Advising Peers (SNAP) as a freshman in search of guidance from a mentor. According to Davis, SNAP offers a sense of community for students of color at a primarily white institution, which can help ease the transition into college. SNAP provides numerous resources for first-generation students, creating opportunities for growth and success.  


After learning organizational and leadership skills from SNAP as a mentee, Davis decided to become a mentor. She hopes to inspire others through her leadership skills.  


“I wanted to get more involved and make an impact on people’s lives,” Davis said. 


In addition to her involvement with SNAP, Davis is also a mentor within the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program. Davis is a mentor to a fourth grade students at Wakama Elementary, who she meets with once a week to offer guidance and support, often by crafting or hanging out together.  


Davis was an orientation leader over the summer to help incoming freshmen get their bearings in a new environment. Currently, Davis serves as the president of Teal Temptations dance team after restarting the organization last semester, and peers can find the team showcasing their talent at various community events. 


On a mission to do good, Davis works as a CHANT 411 information specialist, offering support by answering any questions students may have.  


“I think what really pushes me to be a leader is the joy of helping others, and the fulfillment of being a role model to others,” she said. 


Davis is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. She was selected to join the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), which will help Davis’s leadership ambitions flourish by teaching her what it means to be a leader.  


She has a wide variety of required curriculum as an HTC Honors student. Always busy with classes, school work, community and campus involvement and extracurriculars, finding a healthy balance can be challenging. Davis connects with her professors and other faculty members for support, while establishing organizational systems that also support her busy schedule.  


“I really found my place here and Coastal feels like home,” Davis said.  


Davis said she challenges other first-generation students to be the pathway for others. 

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