From Oakwood University to LA with $2,000: Austun Reid Tells His Story

Throughout history, HBCUs have provided safe havens, fostering environments where African American students could thrive and excel academically, while simultaneously nurturing their cultural identity and sense of belonging. These institutions have instilled a profound sense of purpose and ambition, empowering graduates to make lasting impacts in their communities and beyond. In our HBCU grad reflection article series, we delve into the stories and experiences of HBCU graduates, allowing their voices to take center stage. These remarkable individuals will share their transformative journeys, shedding light on the myriad ways in which their HBCU education has shaped their lives, both personally and professionally.

In this article, we speak with Oakwood University graduate Austun Reid

Oakwood University Class of 2022

Major- Marketing/Finance

Former Mr. Oakwood University

What led you to your HBCU?

I wanted to carry on the tradition. My Great grandparents, grandparents, and parents went to Oakwood

What are some of the most valuable lessons you learned from your HBCU experience?

Some of the most valuable lessons I learned from my HBCU was the importance of connections and networking, it is not always what you know, but it’s about WHO you know. I also learned the importance of doing things scared. I think it is important to take risks sometimes, you never know where that can lead you.

How did you feel leading up to graduation? Did you have any fears about heading into the world outside of college?  

I felt great leading up to graduation. I think I was fearful of the future but also had faith that God would lead me in the right direction.

What are you most proud of up to this point in life? 

I am most proud of moving out to LA, with $2000 in my pocket, finding an apartment and a job!

What does life look like for you now?

Life for me looks very BUSY. I’m always at events, working with my clients, filming for a new project and everything in between.

To learn more about Austun and his journey, follow his social media page here –


Where the HBCU Culture Resides