SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Whether she meant to or not, Juhanna Rogers has made a name for herself. Rogers is one member of the Great 8, earning her Ph.D. along with seven other African-American women at Indiana University.
Her story has become an inspiration for young women looking to higher education.
"Hey, she can do it, the Great 8 can do it, so can I,” said Syracuse University student Miracle Rogers, who has no relation to Juhanna.
Rogers continued to inspire on Wednesday, speaking to a full house at Upstate Medical University as they kicked off Black History Month.
"I hope that our story, the diversity in the women that make up this group being referred to as the Great 8, really empowers young people to strive through the struggles that we face,” Juhanna said.
And that struggle, she says, has only been amplified in the weeks since the presidential inauguration.
"I think until this Black History Month, a lot of times I think it's been about learning in the past, and this Black History month, I think it's going to be about taking action,” said Juhanna.
For the next generation, it's taking that action to remind people of one important thing.
"It's not 'OK, now we celebrate black history and African-American history,' and it's a separate part of a whole year,” Miracle said. “Black history is a part of American history."
For right now, Miracle will share that message through dance, but in the future, following in Dr. Rogers' footsteps, the Syracuse senior hopes to contribute to her community by continuing her education.
Late last year, we shared Juhanna Rogers' story. If you'd like to learn more about how she came to be part of the "Great 8," you can watch here.
All this month, tune in to our special series, "Facing the Rising Sun: Profiles of Black History." We'll take a look at African Americans, past and present, who have helped shape the world we live in. That's every Tuesday and Thursday in February.