Jaleah Bowman-Blanton: With Patience and Commitment, Anything Is Possible
When it comes to getting the most out of her education, Jaleah Bowman-Blanton always strives to aim high and invest in her future. She has already developed an exceptional academic profile that includes being the first Black valedictorian at Coatesville Area Senior High School and earning an associate degree from Delaware County Community College before she graduated high school.
As a high school senior entering Cheyney as a first-year junior majoring in Business Administration, she continues to set the bar high. She now looks to Cheyney to continue her academic investments and to help her one day land her dream job as a forensic accountant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“Education is extremely important to me. My dad always says, ‘no one can ever take your knowledge away from you,’” said Bowman-Blanton. “Those words and the support of my parents have motivated me throughout my educational journey.”
Bowman-Blanton is a first-generation college student. She applied to other colleges and universities, but Cheyney was the only school that offered her what she felt she was worth, which included a Keystone Scholarship through Cheyney’s Honors Academy.
“It made me feel like Cheyney valued me and what I accomplished,” she said. “Attending new student events made me feel even more excited about attending Cheyney because of the indescribable energy I felt being immersed in an environment with Black excellence and people who looked like me, enjoyed things that I do, and more.”
In her sophomore year of high school, she started taking college courses at Delaware County Community College, which allowed her to earn an associate degree during her senior year. She maintained a busy schedule being a part-time high school student and a part-time college student, while playing on the girls’ tennis team and participating in other extracurricular activities.
“Taking high school and college courses simultaneously was hard, but I would not do anything differently. The experience put me ahead educationally and mentally,” she said.
Becoming valedictorian was also a journey that required many long nights and a few sacrifices with her personal life. However, she considers those times to be great investments in her future.
“Those investments allowed me to become the first Black valedictorian at Coatesville Area Senior High School,” said Bowman-Blanton. “Anything is possible when you have patience and commitment.”
She knows her education at Cheyney will help her be more confident so she can share what her self-worth is as a young Black woman. She often feels Black women can be overlooked, especially in areas dominated by non-minority people. She believes Cheyney can teach and enhance what she already knows about herself, and the university will ensure that she is respected and valued in her future career and goals.
“My experience so far at Cheyney has been great! I understand the environment I am honored to be part of is one of a kind – one that only an HBCU can provide. I am able to share who I truly am, including my interests and having most of my peers be able to relate to me and what I enjoy.”