Chester High has announced that Tanisha LaVerne Grant, Miss Black Pennsylvania USA 1996 and Miss Cheyney University of Pennsylvania 1995, will address graduates at Chester High School's 141st Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 12 at 6p.m. in Chester, Pennsylvania.
"We believe that Ms. Grant's multitude of experience qualifies her to fulfill this most auspicious function," said Reginald Springfield, Chester High School Commencement Coordinator. "Ms. Grant's demeanor, professionalism, educational and cultural heritage provide us with the kind of role model we wish our students aspire to become."
A Chester native, Grant served as editor in chief of the school newspaper, The Welcome, she received an award for "Best Term Paper Written by a Senior" and received awards from Chester High School's Choir, Drama Guild, and the French Club before graduating with the class of 1991 as The Daily Times "High School Senior to Watch."
"My objective is to galvanize, encourage, and inspire the class of 2015 to pursue their dreams with drive, ambition, and execution," said Grant. "We live in a highly competitive fast paced digital age with no room for mediocrity. It's
imperative the sons and daughters of Chester possess high concentrations of readiness to unapologetically take the steps neccessary to become the leaders they are called to be."
Tanisha LaVerne Grant holds a BA degree from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, the nation's oldest historical black institution of higher education where she was inducted into the National Theatrical Honor Society Alpha Psi Omega and studied communication arts and acting under the direction of the late Dr. Edythe-Scott Bagely, sister of Coretta Scott King and sister-in-law to Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"To be a very young girl coming of age in the City of Chester, Pennsylvania is an extraordinarily specific experience- an experience that has allowed me to mold the world to my own dreams and identity," said Grant. "It is with an enormous level of joy that I get to return home as the commencement speaker. This is a God-given opportunity to pour into the children of my community in much the same way the community has poured into me."
With more than 15 years of film and television experience, Grant says that she got her television break when her internship at WCAU NBC10 turned into a full-time job as an assignment editor. Since then the former Clipper has gone on to interview some of the most prolific people in film, fashion, music, and politics during global and large scale events including but not limited to The Paley Center's Tribute to African-Americans in Media, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Academy Awards, the Tony Awards, the American Black Film Festival, Urban World Film Festival, and the NAACP Image Awards. As an entertainment journalist and red carpet correspondent, Grant contributes to a number of Interactive One sites and covers entertainment stories in New York City and Los Angeles.
Grant's ability to ask well crafted questions has attracted a number of Hollywood power players like Oprah Winfrey, Cicecly Tyson, BET's CEO Debra Lee, Oscar wining actress and actor Lupita Nyong' o and Forest Whitaker to stop and enage her in the competitive world of red carpet reporting. Known for her iconoclastic bald head and individual style, Grant has appeared and has been the feature story on websites like Glamour Magazine, Essence online, Ebony, Sistahs Place, Girls on the Grind, Time Out New York, The Huffington Post, and publications in Italy, Paris, and Sweden.
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