Celebrating Black History Month: Students of MBU

Missouri Baptist Univ.
5 min readFeb 25, 2022
Trent Schaefering
MBU Freshman

“Growing up, I moved around a lot. My dad played in the NFL and it required me moving to 18 different schools by the time I graduated. I think that is why I love change. In my free time, I love making music and using my entrepreneurial skills–I am launching my own clothing brand this month! A legacy I want to leave at MBU is positivity. I always want to be remembered as someone who approaches everything with optimism.” -Trent Schaefering

Ricky RaVon Branch
MBU Sophomore

“Honest. Smooth. Energetic. Outgoing. Extrovert. Those are the words people would describe me as.”

“Something that shaped who I am was being raised in a single-parent household by my mother. It wasn’t ideal, but my mom empowered me to be myself and pointed me in the right direction. Growing up in a small town that lacked diversity, I was the only African-American on my sports teams. Although it was difficult being the only one, I am grateful to have been exposed to a different environment.” -Ricky RaVon Branch

Mikael Merritt
MBU Junior

“I am from North St. Louis — it isn’t like the county. Growing up, everyone took care of me and helped me to stay on the right path. My mom had me at 16 years old but it never stopped her from pursuing her dreams. My grandma always provided for us and I try to work hard to hopefully bring her an easier life one day. At MBU, I want to leave a legacy of respect and empathy. I always want to be remembered by these words.” -Mikael Merritt

Fred Moise
MBU Sophomore

I was born in Porta Prince, Haiti. I moved to Louisiana at age 13. My parents moved me here so I could get an education that would transfer. I speak Creole, French and English. I am celebrating Black History Month by celebrating who I am and bringing back glory to God.”

“I think of myself as perpetually positive and unapologetically myself. My friends would describe me as their “little brother” and I love making people laugh. I came to MBU to play football and have met some of my best friends here.” -Fred Moise

Proleine Pierre
MBU Graduate Student

“Lekòl. Legliz. Lakay. These are the words that shaped my life. The Creole words translate to School. Church. Home. This was constantly repeated by my parents growing up. It helped me stay on track. Although I am from Nassau, Bahamas, my parents are Haitian. I grew up very disciplined, which is a common family culture in Haiti. I am kind, understanding and easy to talk to. When I first came to MBU, I was shy but I slowly started to come out of my shell–it is impossible to avoid the community at MBU. Being on the track team at MBU helped me build leadership skills and important relationships.” -Proleine Pierre

Cheyenne Hoffman
MBU Junior

“Growing up, I spent a significant amount of time in the hospital–I was born with a cataract. Being in an uncomfortable enviroment and being surrounded by passionate people changed things for me. My experience pushed me towards pursuing that career field. I came to MBU to be a part of the soccer team, but ended my college season early due to an injury. Although this wasn’t my plan, I really leaned into my education. As a future pedicatric nurse or oncologist, I will remain steadfast in who I am–caring, intelligent and integrous.” -Cheyenne Hoffman

Montre Snead
MBU Freshman

“I grew up in Brooklyn, Illinois. Something that really impacted me was having a close friend pass away from gang violence. I was overcome with grief–it was really hard to deal with. It happened right before graduation and that celebration felt bittersweet. Even though that was very difficult for me, I want people to know that better days come. Surrounding yourself with good people is key. At MBU, I play football and I have met some great people. I always want to be remembered for my smile and my laugh. I love having positive energy.” -Montre Sneed

Jaiden Williams
MBU Senior

“I grew up in Houston, Texas. I came to MBU to play football and get my exercise science degree, with hopes of becoming a physical therapist one day. I grew up in a one parent household and the older I get, the more respect I have for my mom. She shaped who I am. MBU has challenged me in ways I wasn’t anticipating. Since coming here in 2018, I have found myself opening up more and forming deeper connections with my friends.” -Jaiden Williams

Tia Reed, MBU Sophomore

“I think of myself as a leader — someone who is talented. I grew up as a preacher’s kid. Being around church, I grew in my faith. Church is where I fell in love with music. At MBU, I get to live out my passion for music most Thursdays in Chapel, playing the drums. The communities I have found at MBU through my love for fine arts and athletics have been more valuable than I had anticipated. Being on the basketball team at MBU has been very encouraging. I am close with my team and I get the opportunity to express my athletic ability. One day, I hope to become a pediatrician.” -Tia Reed

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