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My HBCU Story- Prairie View A&M University First-Year Student

By: TxCAN   |   February 2023

Guest author Jabaurie Caraway, a first-year student at Prairie View A&M University, shares his aspirations and dreams and reflects on his decision to attend an HBCU.

In February, we celebrate Black History Month, and I am grateful for this opportunity to share a little piece of my story and my reasons for choosing to attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).  At 19-years-old, attending a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) has allowed me to pave a path forward for my three younger siblings. This is my second semester at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), Class of 2026. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and I attended school in Oak Cliff since kindergarten. I am currently working towards a Bachelor’s in Business Management at PVAMU.  

My Future Aspirations 

I have a passion for helping people, the living and the dead. I want to open multiple funeral homes, so I can help the people of my community remember their loved ones. My passion for the funeral business sparked in the fifth grade when I attended my aunt’s funeral. I wasn’t afraid of the body, I was more captivated by loved ones gathering around celebrating my aunt’s life. After the funeral I realized I wanted to learn more about the after-death care process and how to best support families during these difficult times. I currently work at a funeral home in Dallas during school breaks. This is a great opportunity for me to learn and gain experience in a field I am passionate about. 

My Journey to an HBCU 

While in high school, I told myself I just wanted to go to mortuary college and start working. But by my senior year in high school, I decided I wanted to experience a four-year college; specifically, an HBCU. I chose an HBCU because I wanted to stay close to my culture. I grew up in a predominately black community and it has always been this way. I wanted to continue to learn and grow with my people. I didn’t want to feel like I was out of place or being judged by the color of my skin. Since I’ve been at Prairie View, I believe I have done just that. 

I got accepted to three HBCUs and I felt that PV was the best option for me. “Prairie View Produces Productive People” is our motto. I feel like this is a true statement, and it’s something I want to live by. My time at PV so far has been an adventure. Getting used to an unknown environment was a challenge, but I’ve managed. I made new close friends, started a podcast, and lost weight. Our podcast highlights and promotes student entrepreneurs on campus. The name of the podcast is called “Janitor Closet Podcast” on YouTube. I am happy PV provides students with a safe environment to get out of their shells and be their authentic selves.  

Someone once told me to treat college like a job. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. focus on your work, so you can have fun after. If you receive financial aid, think of it as a paycheck that money is basically paying for you to be at school. HBCUs not only provide affordable higher education options to students, but give students an environment to embrace their culture, be their true selves, and experience Black excellence. HBCUs are full of opportunities to grow in a space with individuals of similar backgrounds. 

Students- Get involved, learn as much as you can, and experience the love HBCUs have to offer.  
Counselors- Make sure you check up on your students. Be aware of their mental health and class support. And make sure to share HBCUs with students! 

Jabaurie Caraway is currently a first year at Prairie View A&M University. He is studying Business Management and he has an expected graduation year of 2026. Jabaurie is a Dallas native, and has dreams of coming back home to Dallas to work and become an entrepreneur.