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Morgan graduate overcomes family deaths, major obstacles to earn degree

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Written by: Jordan Thomas with SGJC Student News Network

Morgan State University will celebrate its December graduates Friday during its annual fall commencement ceremony. Mijiza Green will be a graduate who has overcome challenges in her academic and personal life. She is a non-traditional student who is majoring in Psychology. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Green moved to Maryland 21 years ago. She is currently a senior response tech for Harford County Public Schools along with being a published author and motivational speaker.

In February 2020, Green lost her mother-in-law to heart issues. Two months later in April, her father died from covid-19 during her first semester, which then went virtual.

“I had to learn to grieve, move my mother from New York to Maryland,” said Green, “plan two funerals, be a wife, a mom to four, and a grandma, have a full-time job and take four classes all at the same time.”

During the fall 2021 semester, Green was taking psychology courses, from Careers in Psychology, Abnormal Psychologist, Physiological Psychology, Introduction to Behavior Pharmacology and Psychology Internship.

Green said she did not have any difficulty with her classes this semester. She said some of her classes “PSYC 301, PSYC 312 and PSYC 210 were demanding and forced me to set aside extra study time, it allowed me to look at my life and those around me and it helped me to better understand how the brain works and the effects of drugs on the brain and in the black communities.”

Another obstacle Green faced while attending Morgan State University was the admission process. She was admitted in 2018 but Green said she never received a letter. She applied a few more times and then in 2019 she spoke to a woman named Ms. Brown who took time to help and heard her story about how Morgan was her dream school, yet Green considered giving up on admissions because of the runaround.

“I wanted to give up so many times,” said Green, “but I didn’t. I actually published my first children’s book “Pretty to be Dark Skinned.” All of my professors were amazing during this time through the hardest time of my life. I made it through that semester with a 3.5 grade point average and continued to use my grief as my motivator to be the best version of me god has a purpose for me and I’m still standing because of it.”

What advice Green would give to non-traditional students at Morgan State University?

“To a non-traditional student I will say do not give up, keep pushing you got this but, in reality, I would say manage your time, set goals, pursue every dream you put on hold, make self-care a priority.

“Ask for help, it’s not a weakness. I will also say your mental health matters.”

Furthermore, “Lastly don’t be over doer procrastinator stop getting everything done for everyone else, then make excuses for why you are not moving forward. Be intentional about you to be the best version of you in 2022.”

Green said her career plans following graduation from Morgan State University “are to focus on my nonprofit, planting seeds community outreach in creating customized programs for youth organizations to focus on suicide prevention and mental health.”

“I will write my third book titled “What goes on in my house stays in my house” volume two, I will apply for graduate school to pursue a career in school psychology and continue to impact, inspire and educate through advocacy, speaking, writing, mentoring, coaching and consulting.”

The writer is a graduate student in the Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication

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