Crystal deGregory got on a plane in the Bahamas 14 years ago with middling grades, limited funds and muted ambition.
She was headed to Nashville's Fisk University, where a recruiter said she could unlock her potential and realize new goals.
"Fisk gave me the sense of self-worth and an army of people who told me I could do what I was attempting to do," said deGregory, a first-generation college graduate.
Now a professor with advanced degrees from Vanderbilt University, deGregory seeks to offer other promising students the same chance. She teaches history at Tennessee State University, another historically black college.