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Office of Communications

Voorhees held culminating Women’s History Month Speaker Series

Award-winning public speaker and lawyer Lecia J. Rives recently spoke about beginning to believe so that one can become during the Women’s History Month close-out virtual program. 

Rives said she wanted to be a lawyer when she was in school so much that she believed she wanted to be. She also noted in school, she was the vice president but aspired to be class president, but one of the guys in her class convinced her to let him run. “Women never shrink back and bow down. I allowed him to run for president, and he lost, and I become second in something I could have been first. Never sign up to be second.” 

She recalled the missed opportunity to be president only allowed her to begin again when she joined the high school track team. “God will give you another opportunity, and many times you will get it on the second try. I joined the track team and did not have a position,” Rives said. 

Rives added, “The coach saw something in me and put me in the 4×100 relay, and we made it to state. I was on the award-winning team, and we broke an almost 25-year record. The reason why it is important to wait on the mark to be hit is so you can have what you need while achieving what you believe you are about to become.” 

She said while on your journey, it is essential to stay in the zone. “Sometimes others will believe in you when you do not. You must trust the process because people who believe in you will put things in place for you to succeed, but it will be difficult to succeed if you take off running without going through the steps.” 

Rives said it is vital to go to college recognizing the importance of an Historically Black College and University because she said if it had not been for Tennessee State University, she did not know where she would be. “When I got to college once again, I wanted to be president but the Student Government Association (SGA) president. The same situation came back around someone tried to convince me to run for vice president, but this time I knew better. I ran for president and at the time became the second woman in the college’s history to be SGA president.” 

She said she had already begun and believed, so the presidency inspired her to pursue bigger dreams and later went to law school. “I got accepted in Howard Law School after getting a poor LSAT score; I worked www.voorhees.edu hard and got in. In my third year, I became a student representative on the admissions committee, where I helped decide who gets in. Because it is not where you start, it is where you finish. It was possible to become then.” 

Rives ended with sometimes in the journey that things will occur that may get someone off their path, but she never gets up. “People do not always know your story, so they cannot understand your glory. My aspiration to become a comedian set back in, and I studied the craft at a comedy club while putting together my set. Later I ended up starting my own comedy television show. I had a deadline, and sometimes we must set a deadline to help us reach our goals.” 

She added, “You can fail at something you do not even want to do, so you might as well fail and work at something you want to do. Put yourself on and stop waiting for somebody else to do it for you. Do what God called you to do and believe in who you are.” 

For more information, contact the Office of Communications, at 803-780-1191 or at communications@voorhees.edu. 

About Voorhees University

Voorhees University, founded by Elizabeth Evelyn Wright in 1897, is a private, coeducational institution affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the United Negro College Fund. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Its mission is to produce highly qualified graduates who coalesce intellect and faith in pursuit of life-long learning, healthy living, the betterment of society, and an abiding faith in God. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Voorhees as a #1 best value, #3 in social mobility and #33 among regional colleges in the south in 2022-2023; and #26 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, nationally. Additional information about Voorhees University can be found at www.voorhees.edu.


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