National College Decision Day occurs every May 1. Michael Anderson Jr.—a Prince George’s County, Md. based senior who is counting down to graduation day on May 27, 2022 at Bishop McNamara High School —landed $272,000.00 in scholarship and grants offers from a variety of colleges. He recently made a big decision about where he would like to attend college. He is excited about becoming a part of Bowie State’s freshman class and lacrosse team. After offers poured in from academic institutions such as Xavier University, Penn State University, Southern College of Arts & Design, Stevenson University and Bowie State University, the scholar, who recently turned 18 decided to embark upon the Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) route.
“What attracted me to Bowie State…is they have my major (visual communication and digital media arts) that I wanted to pursue, and they have a budding lacrosse program,” Michael Jr. said, mentioning a deciding factor.
When he watched an exciting lacrosse game between Bowie State University and Morgan State University, the energy of HBCU culture unfolded. After observing everything from cheering spectators to food trucks lining up outside, Michael felt comfortable. He returned home and informed his parents, Kia Anderson and Michael Anderson Sr., that he officially made up his mind about his college choice.
Michael Jr. already knows what it is like to entertain an energetic crowd. In prior years, he rapped on stages from Maryland to Los Angeles, as a part of the boy duo group, Kidz N Charge. His brother, Markel Anderson was the other half and singer who belted out catchy, kid-appropriate tunes with his older sibling. “Oooh Girl” was their last publicly released single which was accompanied by a video in 2017. Their sister, Makenzie Anderson, and a few friends were back up dancers. Kids entertaining kids was a catchy thing. Despite a successful run, the brothers developed new interests. Lacrosse, band, video editing, and 3D animation were among Michael Jr.’s.
“Two or three years ago I decided that it (Kidz N Charge) really wasn’t for me anymore, so I decided to take a break to focus on things like athletics and academics,” Michael Jr. said.
Away from the performance spotlight, Kia and Michael Anderson, Sr., had high academic expectations for all three of their children. Michael, Jr. added that his parents were big motivators when it came to academic success. In the Anderson’s home, a rule is that the children should strive to earn no less than A’s and B’s. Additionally, video editing or playing lacrosse demands good grades. Michael Jr. knew that he had to hit the books, even if going to school was not something that he liked to do.
“I’ve learned that I could really only get to where I want to be at by going to school,” Michael Jr. said, noting his parent’s sacrifices. “From day one, they’ve been setting me up in a position to succeed by putting me in things like private school…”
Kia, who majored in Sociology at Bowie State University, noted that Michael Jr.’s determination to achieve his goals and work through discouraging times is something that makes her most proud of her son.
“My favorite thing about him is his confidence,” Kia said. “His confidence in his ability to achieve anything that he wants to.”
Michael Anderson Sr., a Morgan State University alumnus who majored in Electrical and Computer Engineering, mentioned the importance of instilling faith and God in the Anderson children, beyond working hard and simply steering them to attend private school.
“The scholarship offers are totally amazing. It’s one of those things where you can kind of pat yourself on the back and say, ‘we did a good job,’” Michael Anderson, Sr. said.
He credited his wife for with making sure the children do their homework. When it came to Michael, Jr.’s success of being offered scholarships, Kia led the way. The Andersons poured into their son as a couple. Now, their son will embark upon a new step in life. Michael Jr.’s slight nervousness about living on his own, and pursuing college, transformed into excitement.
“I’m going to be 18 when I get there, too, so a lot more doors are going to open up for me,” Michael Jr. said. “So I’m just excited, really, just to see what it holds, to see how colleges is.”