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Breast Cancer Awareness

Prentiss Smiley

Before he was able to read Prentiss’ grandmother bought him a computer that was loaded with software. The software featured several farm animals that provided instruction on how to pronounce and spell words and how to read. People laughed at her because she bought a computer instead of stuffed animals or a football. But there was a “method to her madness”. She was a retired educator, who knew that this would jumpstart his education. She empowered him by strengthening his hand eye coordination and interest in technology. This was the beginning of his love for computers. But it also formed the foundation for his thought process, his leadership skills and his ability to dream and set goals and give back to others. Prentiss realized the value of learning. At a very young age, Prentiss Smiley was perceived as a precocious young man. He was so computer savvy that one of his elementary school teachers penalized him because she believed that his mother was doing his work for him. His mother and the teacher had a heated debate about his computer literacy and his mother challenged the teacher to sit him down at the computer and watch him be creative. To the teacher’s amazement, Prentiss was more computer literate than she. The teacher apologized and began grading him fairly. Also while in elementary school, Prentiss developed the mind set of an Entrepreneur. He began his own business selling prints he developed on the computer. Before his mother discovered what he was doing and made him stop, Prentiss had earned $13 in just a few hours. At 14 years old, he told his parents that he had a burning to preach God’s Word. Being a seasoned pastor, his father questioned and counseled Prentiss, and continued to observe him. Prentiss went into prayer for several months. Occasionally he would mention his calling and his parents would not react. However, at age 17, his passion to preach became more intense and Prentiss announced to his parents that he was not going to run from his calling any longer. As a young ordained minister and scholar, Prentiss has devoted his life to educational preparation and service to the community. A country boy born in Homer, Louisiana, Prentiss graduated from Grambling State University valedictorian of his class with a double major in Computer Information Systems and History. Prentiss has been involved in a number of community service projects including building communities with Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center and teaching leadership skills to young people. He has great passion for young people and people who are over 50 years of age. Prentiss developed a curriculum to teach people over 50 how to use technology more efficiently. He used student volunteers as mentors for the elderly and the combination was a match made in heaven. One of his favorite students was a 90 year old woman who he taught how to shop online using secured websites. On the President’s List each semester while attending GSU, Prentiss is a Lexus Verses and Flow HBCU Scholar, Thurgood Marshall College Fund/Wells Fargo Scholar, National Association of HBCU Title III Administrator, Inc. Scholar, Former Student Government Association Senator, and the LA Legislative Black Caucus Top Scholarship Recipient. He was also a member of the Century Link Inaugural Class and the Center for Professional Development Inaugural Class. Moreover, Prentiss was the President of the Earl Lester Cole Honors College. During his tenure, he rallied the student body to approve a self assessed fee that would strengthen and revise the honors. Prentiss earned internships with Data Today, a computer technology solutions business, the Biomedical Research Foundation ~ Entrepreneurial Acceleration Program and the AFRL Minority Leaders Program. He is a recipient of the Carter G. Woodson Award, the W. E. B. DuBois Undergraduate Paper Award, and the Organization of Parish Administrative Officials of the Police Jury Association of LA Scholarship. He was also an on-air personality and host of Good Morning Grambling on KGRM 91.5 FM. Prentiss’ ingenuity allowed him to earn his undergraduate degrees without loans or federal grants. He was able to graduate debt free.
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