Homeless Southern University Student Graduates With a Degree in Architecture

A Southern University in Baton Rouge graduating senior was one of the last students crossing the stage with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture due to the Board of Regents vote to terminate the architecture program citing declining enrollment. Taikian Brooks, was determined to complete his studies regardless of his degree program coming to an end and other circumstances.

Image courtesy of WBRZ2
Image courtesy of WBRZ2

According to WBRZ 2, an ABC affiliate, Brooks’ is homeless and during his matriculation slept in a classroom on the university’s campus with only a space heater and cot to keep him warm.

“I try to go into one of the dorms to take a shower,” Brooks said. “Sometimes I have to catch the sink.”

Brooks said he got kicked out of the dorms earlier this year, after he helped another student in need “bunk” in his room. When the University found out, he was removed from the dorm, per university rules. That’s when Professor Tiner stepped in to help his student he knew, had what it takes to get a degree.

“I gave him some assistance in being able to live until we got to where we are now,” Tiner said.

With unwavering support from his mentor and family, Brooks doesn’t know if he’ll ever be able to thank those who have helped him.

“If you have determination you still can get through this and can still arrive at a degree,” Tiner said. “That is the most important thing for his community, his parents and his mother is very much pleased with what he’s done.”

Brooks graduated Friday, December 11, 2015 and plans to attend Georgia Tech for his Master’s degree and become a professor.

“It is a blessing that you all helped me receive one of the biggest blessings I’ll ever get,” Brooks said. “My heart is out there for y’all and one day I will pay every one of you back.”

Taikian Brooks is the perfect example of not letting your circumstances define your future. Congrats to this young man and best of luck with all future endeavors.

You can watch the interview here and read more of his story.

Jasmine Roper15 Posts

Jasmine E. Roper is a graduate of Grambling State University. A member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and The Society of Distinguished Black Women, Inc. She loves pizza, Ted Talks, and randomly snapchatting (is that a word?) Follow her on Instagram @OhMinaaa


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