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University attracts student from nationally renowned high school

By Jaye Cole
On February 8, 2011

  • Charmaine Shuford

As a child, Charmaine Shuford decided failure was not an option for her. She grew up in Washington, D.C., where the urban life of many minorities often serve as a measure of how much they will achieve academically, and in life. Being a young, black girl in one of America's most blusterous metropolitans, she chose to pursue a path of success rather than mediocrity.

Shuford, now a junior mass communications major at Winston-Salem State, is an active member of the Red Sea of Sound, Mozik Modeling Troupe and Tau Beta Sigma, National Honorary Band Sorority.

Despite her extracurricular activities, she manages to keep her GPA well above 3.0. Even her peers recognize her positive drive and demeanor.

"Charmaine is a very kind person. Her spirit is always high, and so energetic," said Justin Long, one of Shuford's classmates.

Long is a junior mass communications major from Concord, N.C.

Shuford's story began in middle school, where she was interviewed — and accepted — into the highly acclaimed Hyde Leadership Public Charter School.

According to the K-12th grade charter school's website, Hyde's goal is to develop socially responsible leaders while transforming public education. The school accomplishes those goals through character development, academic rigor, and family renewal.

"We had to follow the character development program, which consists of family seminars and discovery groups," Shuford said.

"We'd meet with other students and teachers and have to help develop our structure."

Unlike traditional schools, Hyde focuses on community and family ties, as well as evolving their students into leaders. This, Shuford said, is what set the difference between Hyde and other public school contemporaries.

Hyde's approach to teaching has not only been effective, as seen through Shuford, but it has risen to national success.

Hyde was a U.S. News and World Report bronze medalist for America's best high schools in 2010. The school's ground breaking program was even showcased on a segment of ABC's primetime news program "20/20" last year.

Hyde also incorporates self-discovery into their curriculum, a process Shuford said helped her find her life's passion.

"[Hyde] allowed you to go through different experiences and take these tests to find out who you are. I discovered I had a passion for helping people," Shuford said.  

Shuford's high school alma mater has founded its philosophy upon five words; "Courage, Concern, Curiosity, Integrity and Leadership. These words became the students' mantra, Shuford said.

"It was something we had to follow."

It was those words, along with the motto and the family-like atmosphere of WSSU that brought Shuford to this campus.

"I came to WSSU on a tour, and the atmosphere was very friendly and that's the same thing that we had at Hyde. It was perfect," Shuford said.

The University's motto ‘Enter to learn, depart to serve' is synonymous with the five principles of Hyde. It is a philosophy that concentrates on the quality of its students, not solely numbers. Shuford's transition from high school to the college level was made easier due to the similar fundamentals of both institutions.

Shuford is a shining example of some of Winston-Salem State's brightest students. WSSU accepts and produces students that are willing to be molded into leaders.

"Historically, Winston-Salem State has attracted highly talented students, academically, athletically, and artistically," said Marilyn Roseboro, an associate professor of Mass Communications.

"We try to make sure the environment here is such that students feel that this is the place that is designed for their success."

This approach to nurturing leaders continues to bring in some of the best transfers and freshmen classes in the region to Winston-Salem State.

"There was no other place for me," Shuford said.

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