By Sonya D. Lavett
Standing at five feet, six inches tall with a soft voice and a huge smile, Shereeta Scott does not come across as what one might consider a typical intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army. Once you start talking with her, however, you realize that this young lady has seen and done a lot in her life.
Scott recently visited the Gulf Coast with her mom to proudly walk across the stage in the CSU commencement ceremony. She worked hard to earn her B.S. in business administration, but also acknowledges that this is only the beginning of her collegiate journey.
She is currently enrolled in the master’s program for emergency services management.
Originally from Chesapeake, Virginia, Scott’s mom raised her and her sister all on her own. It wasn’t easy, but Scott’s mother instilled important values in her family and encouraged them to work hard. At the time, Scott may have started out learning this the hard way. “To be honest, in high school I was a typical athlete and just wanted to do enough work so I could stay on the court. I never knew I could be so successful. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.”
Once she began studying at CSU, Scott loved the convenience and flexibility of being able to work in her own time, especially as an active-duty member of the U.S. Army. “Enrolling with CSU is probably the best decision I ever made. The staff would reach out to me before I ever needed anything. While deployed, so many things have the potential to go wrong, but they always made sure I had my books and everything I needed to complete my course work, no matter where I was.”
While deployed, Scott served as a calming voice to her unit during times of attack, bombs being lobbed at them. This kind of situation could strike fear in the heart of anyone, trained or not. Instead, Scott was most frightened when a power outage occurred for fear that her school assignment submission would not go through by the deadline. “It scared the life out of me when things went haywire, computers would go down and I was trying to submit work with the lights out. It was just one of those things though. I remember thinking, how can I get my homework turned in while maintaining the standards of my school work and still accomplish the mission?”
She always managed to focus on the problem in front of her and get the job done.
Because of her calm demeanor even during some of the most alarming situations and her ability to earn straight As in her coursework, Scott is looked up to by those who report to her, as well as by her senior supervisors.
“From a manager’s standpoint, I had so much on my plate, but still wanted to work hard and really prove myself. I was focused on my outside career. Respect from others was a huge motivator for me. I wanted my mom to see me walk across the stage with the same degree that she had. I felt like I needed to continue that strength. My family looks up to me and they come to me for advice. That’s my driving force.”
Scott’s education has benefited her in multiple ways. “I have received invitations for interviews from places that I never thought I would ever get. My education has helped me to progress through my ranks for leadership roles, and now my leadership skills have been enhanced. I’ve been able to mentor to others who may be struggling while in school. I’m better at customer service because of how I have been treated as a CSU student. Joining the National Society of Leadership and Success has been a tremendous help. Without these things, I’m not even sure where I would be. I definitely couldn’t have done it all on my own.”
When asked what advice she would give to others trying to accomplish a degree or other goals in the midst of other demands, Scott says, “Just don’t give up; that’s the main thing. Always have a good support system behind you. The CSU staff and faculty will always be there for you. You will have your ups and downs, but keep going and push forward.”
She continues, “Be positive and influential. If you empower those who are next in line with a positive message and encouragement, it will create a ripple effect.”