“ExCEL helped me transition as a freshman by providing a source of motivation and introducing me to a network of black upperclassmen, as well as available resources and opportunities. Just knowing other African-Americans who had gone through the same struggles as a freshman gave me a sense of belonging and encouraged me to push through. This is also where I met many of my best friends. My college experience would not have been the same without ExCEL.”

Jaylon Smith '20, ExCEL Mentor

Sociology | Civil Engineering, Texas

“ExCEL has been a catalyst for growth in my life, suiting me up with experiences that have enhanced me as a black woman. I have strengthened my black identity, learned necessary professional and leadership skills, and developed friendships. These relationships filled college with enjoyment and I know these bonds will last for a lifetime. The experiences I’ve had in ExCEL all attribute to who I am today, as well what I will seek for my future. I am confident that I will step into the real world with the skills to achieve my dreams and the mindset to make it happen. I owe it all it ExCEL.”

Evelyn Stewart- Johnson '19, ExCEL Mentor

Psychology | Arlington, Texas

(Left to Right) Chelsie Melton ’20, Evelyn Stewart- Johnson ’19, Corshay Jackson ’20


Excellence uniting Culture, Education, and Leadership (ExCEL) is a student organization designed to help new Aggies find the academic, social, and personal balance at Texas A&M.  ExCEL assists students who are interested in engaging with the African American campus community in making a smooth transition during the first year as an Aggie, through a conference during Howdy Week, cultivating relationships between peers and mentors, providing a sense of belonging, offering academic personal support, and serving as a resource.

“ExCEL has allowed me to have a voice within conversations where before my voice may not have been heard. This program has forced me in a beneficial way to challenge myself organizationally, academically, and personally to better myself as a student leader. My position as director of finance has given me the opportunity to gain experience in my field of interest. ExCEL has also encouraged me to be proud of our culture, display unity, while learning about one another in the process.”

Corshay Jackson'20 , ExCEL Mentor

Finance | Houston, Texas

“Excel has created within me, my own identity as a black woman not just on this campus but in society. It has also equipped me with an amazing community of people that I can relate to and who understand and empathize with my struggles to reach success.”
Antoinette Burrell '19 , ExCEL Mentor

Biology | Garland, Texas

“ExCEL has given me the opportunity to become the student leader I am today. By laying the platform for such a strong community, ExCEL ensured that my transition to Texas A&M went smoothly. I now have a support system that I can depend on to encourage and guide me in the right direction. Providing me with tools to grow academically, socially, and professionally, ExCEL has pushed me to maximize my potential. It has given me the drive to help others be successful and grow to be the best I can be as a student and future leader.”

Chelsie Melton '20, ExCEL Mentor

Finance | Corpus Christi, Texas

Photo Essay by Athlyn Allen ’19 Division of Student Affairs Marketing Intern