Greetings Tougaloo Family!
What an honor it is to write you!
Natosha Pengarthit ‘18
I am Natosha Pengarthit, class of 2018. I earned my Bachelors of Arts Degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Journalism. I was born in Fort Stewart, Georgia and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. I graduated from West Potomac High School in 2013 with production skills, and I just knew I was going to college!
My first ever encounter with Tougaloo College was at an HBCU Festival in February of my graduating year at T.C. Williams High School. I met Cassius Rudolph, and I remember asking him if they had a particular club and he responded, “No, but you can start one.” As I researched more about Tougaloo, I found the vibe to be very personal and close knit. I applied and received my acceptance letter a few months later!
On my first day in Renner Hall, I met my first roommate, and we stayed up all night talking because we couldn’t sleep in our new room because of our excitement! My second roommate came shortly after, and we found our best friends in each other. I’m still good friends with both of them.
During my matriculation, I was very active on campus. For example, during my freshman year, I was in the Baptist Student Union led by Melanie Dotson. We went to churches in the community and participated in the choir. Later in my freshman year, I met Tougaloo Womanhood founded by Alexandria Walls. I have been active from spring 2014 as President to present day where I am an Advisor and author of the current bylaws.
I was able to see Womanhood grow from an on-campus organization to the non-profit corporation it is now. We offer mentoring programs for girls in grades 5-12 in Memphis, Jackson and Baton Rouge. I was also able to witness the growing number of members in the community and college level.
From 2014 to 2016 I was the Peace Corps On-Campus Ambassador. I was able to engage in many forms of student outreach such as: class talks, social media campaigns, photo competitions, campus festivals, and contribute to sharing what Peace Corps has to offer.
In my department, I was happily active as well! I was the Co-Editor and contributing writer to the Tougaloo Harambee Newspaper as well as an Anchor/Reporter/Producer for Eagle Eye News 19. I hosted three Mass Communication Days where I was able to lead discussions and serve as a moderator between the audience and panelists. My skills from communications allowed me to be more creative in making flyers, brochures, etc.
Another organization I was proud to be involved in was the Pre-Alumni Council where I was a member for one year and the Historian for the rest! I was the official photographer for all P.A.C. hosted events. I designed flyers and brochures for events & programs and created the 2016-2017 & 2017-2018 scrapbooks. I attended three United Negro College Fund Leadership Conferences (2015, 2017 & 2018) where I was able to participate in several leadership workshops regarding financial stability, roles in leadership, and goal setting.
In fall 2017, I was inducted into Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Incorporated, the Delta Gamma chapter where I currently serve as the Editor, First Vice-President and Treasurer.
I always believed that getting involved and being active on campus would give anyone the full college experience. Post graduation, I am able to freelance for companies, news outlets and local business owners all while continuing with the mentoring programs and nurturing my legacy. I’m so thankful for my mentors, advisors and staff that supported and encouraged me throughout my time at the Loo!
I wasn’t always grateful during my matriculation. Times were hard, but I persevered. I lost people I knew but I gained life-long friends. I am so honored to have graduated from such a prestigious and historic institution such as Tougaloo. I have learned, earned and yearned during my time at the Loo. I am currently continuing my education as I pursue an MBA at Jackson State University.
Upon graduation, I became a member of the Tougaloo College National Alumni Association. My Pre-Alumni Council advisor, Mrs. Bridgeman, reached out to me shortly after and asked if it was ok for her to recommend me to be a part of the Tougaloo Alumni Bulletin Committee! Of course I said yes!
Some of my peers often ask why it is so important to me that I stay engaged with my Alma Mater. My answer isn’t so simple.
It could be because of my advisors and mentors and the care they bestowed.
It could be because the rich history of Tougaloo, and I am eager to be a part of it.
It could be because of the knowledge I learned about MYSELF in and out of the classroom!
My main answer is that Tougaloo helped me understand my path. I want to do the same for someone else!
I encourage all of my fellow alumni to stay involved and help shape a better Tougaloo for those to come!