DeSoto Graduates Gifted College Essentials

City of DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor provides dormitory supplies to college bound students
Posted on 06/30/2022
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The tubs were heavy and filled to the brim. Items inside caught the attention of the recipients, while the donor reflected on what proved most useful during her college days.

“The soap and the washing detergent,” Tre’Nysha Bluitt said.

“Well, the first thing I saw was the hangers,” Aneatra Linthecum laughed.

“Probably all the cleaning supplies and stuff like that, because going into a dormitory, it’s like, ‘Okay, who's been in here?’” City of DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor said.

Proctor delivered college dorm essentials to two recent DeSoto High School graduates headed to Prairie View A&M University.

“I can remember when I was going into college as a first generation college student, putting all my items on layaway at Walmart, and just all these things and not knowing what I needed and didn’t need,” Proctor said. “One of the big things for me is to always try to help students with things that I wish I would have had.”

A DeSoto High School graduate herself, Proctor delivered the containers filled with essential items neatly packaged and tied with green and gold ribbon to the school. She gave monetary gifts as well. 

With plans to study architecture at Prairie View A&M University in the fall, Bluitt was surprised by the fanfare, yet appreciative of the generosity.

“It was very overwhelming,” Bluitt said. “There's a lot of people, you don’t know what they’re going through, like financial trouble, so I just feel very lucky and grateful that I got this blessing.”

Recipient Arissa Linthecum plans to study Marketing. Her mother, Aneatra, accepted the donation on her behalf.

“It really means a lot to our family. It’s just my husband and myself working to get Arissa into college, and so there’s a lot of expenses associated with that,” Linthecum said. She added the donation “is going to really impact us and help us a lot.”

The presentation was led by DeSoto ISD Advanced Academics, College, Career and Military Readiness Director Robin Johnson Ford. In addition to hearing from Mayor Proctor, DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees president DeAndrea Fleming, DeSoto Early College High School principal Angela Batiste and DeSoto High School principal Monica Smith spoke as well.

“We are so grateful for our partnerships,” Fleming said. “One thing that our mayor always does is make sure that she’s giving back as an alum. I’m so excited to be in the midst because our students are going to PV, and I am an alum of PV.”

Panther pride dominated the atmosphere as Prairie View A&M University alumnus Batiste shared how Bluitt and Linthecum excelled beyond the odds.

“We are very grateful that these two have come in, they’ve pushed full throttle, even outside of COVID, having to come back into a space that was kind of unbeknownst to all of us,” Batiste said. “Thank you for the opportunities and what they’ve done academically.”

Smith, also a Prairie View A&M University alumnus, emphasized a continuum of support. As she gestured towards the donated items, she stated, “Just know that this is not it.”

“So when you go down to Prairie View, just know that you have all of these alums who will be there,” Smith said. “When we say we believe and we support our students, it doesn’t stop here. Feel free to come back, email, let us know what you need; we have contacts there who can provide some additional support even at Prairie View A&M University because they produce productive people.”

Bluitt made note of the support and was encouraged.

“I didn’t know that there were this many PV alumni and they really reassured me and made me feel safe,” she said. “If I don’t have anybody I have them.”

What seemed like a simple donation of dormitory necessities morphed into a solidified system of support.

“As a DeSoto alumni, I am probably, some might say, one of their biggest cheerleaders,” Proctor said. “I always try to be somebody who supports our kids on their next journey to just do whatever I can as an alumni and what is in my power as the mayor to be able to help our kids to get what they need so they can be successful.”

As Bluitt soars from the eagle’s nest, she looks forward to her time at Prairie View.

“I know there’s a lot of diversity, so getting to meet new people and networking and really having a good time; at the same time as having my head on the right way to get towards my goal which is staying and graduating and becoming successful,” she said.

The synergy of both city and school district places Bluitt and Linthecum on a promising path forward.