Teyonna Ridgeway has accomplished things that people twice her age haven’t achieved; yet the 21-year-old native of Atlanta continues to be humble as she embarks on her journey of self-discovery, purpose and fulfillment. A prospective May 2014 graduate of Howard University with a degree in Journalism and Public Relations concentration, Teyonna is a communications connoisseur rooted in advocacy, service and global awareness. Her rich experience at Howard University and active role in her community has helped her become the young woman that she has always dreamed of being.
Due to her stellar academics, leadership activities and community service in high school, Teyonna was selected out of more than 24,000 applicants to be awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship. As one of the most competitive scholarships in the nation, the Gates Scholarship finances the education of 1,000 minority students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership and community involvement.
A first generation college student, Teyonna upheld the standard of a Gates Scholar at Howard by maintaining a 3.8 grade point average, being active on campus and being a leader in her community. While in college she got involved with various campus media outlets including the radio station, television network and student blog. She was also active in student government for two years, serving as the administrative assistant and event coordinator for the School of Communications student council. As the President of the Howard University Chapter of Gates Millennium Scholars, she is paying it forward by coaching high school students through the application process, planning programs for Howard scholars and speaking at community events about her college experience. Teyonna is also a mentor to many Howard students, including some of her fellow Gates Scholars.
Teyonna decided to step outside of her comfort zone and study abroad in London, England for the spring semester of her junior year. While overseas she visited five other countries including France, Morocco and Spain. She hopes to continue to travel around the world and accomplish her goal of visiting every state in the U.S. before she retires.
Teyonna’s six internships over the past four years, including AT&T, Radio One Atlanta and currently the Howard University Office of University Communications, have prepared her for an effective career in communications. She aspires to work at a top PR firm immediately after graduation and eventually use her communications skills to raise awareness about social and political issues that plague society.
A lover of Scandal, self-help books and camels, Teyonna is unique in every aspect. She hopes that she can inspire people to follow their dreams and be themselves despite pressures to conform to society’s unrealistic expectations.