SGA president pushes herself, university forward
Dec 07, 2017
Jessica Tolbert is Student Government Association president at Claflin University. (Panther photo by Travis Barnes)
She wakes up, prepares for class and begins her day.
She is unsure of what to expect but knows what is on her schedule: lunch, research in the campus chemistry lab and possibly a meeting.
She is more than likely going to skip dinner, but she always makes her way back to her room for long hours of school work.
Being Jessica Tolbert may seem easy, but it is not. Yet she is living out her dreams of being the Student Government Association president at Claflin University, the first female elected to the position.
She is a child of Christ, always searching for a good laugh, fun-loving and overall easy going.
Her passion for SGA started in the sixth grade when she later became the president in middle school and then began her journey toward high school.
Tolbert has always fallen into a leadership position where she would learn more about herself, always developing her skills due to the constant pressure. She still drives herself to improve her campus, which ultimately builds her.
Some may ask, “Who is President Tolbert?”
She is a level-headed president who says she is committed to driving a team of leaders ahead toward innovation with service as the focus. She said that at times the journey can be a challenge but overall it is rewarding.
Tolbert makes all attempts to respect and understand perspectives and ideas from her fellow SGA members.
The Chattanooga, Tennessee, native believes her relationship with God, family and friends is what makes her.
“I would literally not be who I am if I did not have support from all corners of life,” she said.
Tolbert surrounds herself with positive people who are a positive influence on her.
“I surround myself with fun-loving people that have a good time no matter in class, in lab, at a meeting or in the dorm,” Tolbert said.
Tolbert has two younger sisters and a younger stepbrother attending Morehouse College. She says her parents are “pretty cool.”
She has lived in the same house all of her life. She adores backpacking, drawing trees and riding roller coasters.
She enjoys spicy foods, and Indian cuisine is her absolute favorite. She believes she laughs a total of 30 minutes a day.
She was afraid of the dark until she came to college. Now she doesn’t need a nightlight.
Jill Scott is her all-time favorite artist. She says Jill was the only artist her mother would play in the car since 2001.
What is next for Jessica Tolbert?
“After Claflin University, I will be attending a graduate school where I will more than likely obtain a Ph.D. in the field of chemistry. I write and illustrate children’s books, so I will continue that endeavor and continue to educate myself. I believe that education should be passed down continuously.”