Trinnette Cooper is a Ph.D. candidate focused on interdisciplinary leadership studies at NC A&T with a desire to work at the executive-administration level in the philanthropic sector. She grew up in a small rural town in eastern North Carolina and was raised in a working, middle-class family. Her mom, Bessie, is an education consultant and her dad, Salmon, is a trucker.
“I think my inspiration comes from being raised in a middle-class to lower-middle-class home with parents who not only worked and raised their children, but were also involved in our church and were pillars in our community. My mom represented our community in the education system and people would relate to her because not only did they see her in the school where she worked, but also in the grocery store or in the church. My dad is retired from the Army Reserves.”
She has a bachelor’s in biology from Johnson C. Smith University and a master’s in public health, with a concentration in health promotion, from Northern Illinois University. “I’d love to have my own foundation one day in a minority community with a focus on providing funds to those communities,” she said. “It’s also so important to be visible. Just being a person of color and working within those communities conveys a sense of empowerment. I know this agenda can bring about change. As Marian Wright Edelman has said,“… service is the rent you pay for living and the very purpose for life.”