A young woman from Ohio made an absolutely amazing accomplishment this past graduation season.
Tera Poole (pictured) is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s School of Dentistry, which is the nation’s oldest dental college. This institution was founded in the city of Baltimore in 1840. Its existence predates the abolishment of slavery in America.
Not only did Ms. Poole graduate from the University of Maryland’s School of Dentistry, she was the valedictorian of this year’s 2016 graduating class. In the 176 years of its existence, there has never been a black valedictorian at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.
The newly crowned Dr. Tera Poole didn’t find out she made history becoming valedictorian until two days after her graduation. “The tears just keep coming! Officially the FIRST black valedictorian of the world’s FIRST dental school,” Poole wrote in a post on Instagram.
Only nine black female students were in the Class of 2016 at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and Poole was one of them. “Sticking together, we knew that we were in this together, that if there were any hardships, we were always there for each other,” Poole told Mic.com
“The sad part is that the first African-American person didn’t graduate from our dental school until 1972,” Andrea Morgan said in a phone interview with Mic.com. Morgan is a recruitment coordinator at the University of Maryland’s School of Dentistry.
The young Dr. Poole has already made a truly historical accomplishment that will be honored for years to come. However, she’s not done yet. Poole has some great plans for the future.
“I’ll be pursuing my orthodontics residency but also branching out under the Dr. Tera name so I definitely want people to stay tuned for what’s next,” Poole also told Mic.com. “I want to be the Dr. Oz of dentistry. Something along those lines,” she continued.
Tera Poole’s remarkable achievement is an inspiration to young black women all across America. Black women are becoming the most educated demographic in the country and Ms. Poole has added greatly to that number.