PG Talk: LaTonya Pinkard

Profile: LaTonya Pinkard | From: Chattanooga, Tennessee by way of Atlanta, Georgia Instagram: @LaTonyaPinkard | Twitter: @LaTonyaCLC For those who are unfamiliar with Independence Community College and haven’t heard of Netflix’s Last Chance U, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a mother of two wonderful young men, Michael and Nathaniel Long. I am an educator with a desire to see her students succeed and move on to the next level. I like outdoor activities as long as insects are gone, traveling, and I feel ice cream is wonderful therapy.
What made you start working at Independence Community College?
I honestly prayed. I wanted change my life and an opportunity to blossom personally and professionally. I applied and here I am.
Working with student-athletes from many different backgrounds and some losing hope of their dreams, how do you keep them motivated?
Because I have two young men, both former athletes, I understand the struggle they endure as athletes and as men. I would say understanding, experiencing and living through the struggle motivates me.
Being a professor what drives you to go the extra mile to help your students?
It is innate; I can't help it. Those who get it; get me, they know I'm there for them 110% and it transcends the one class they may take from me. If they need my help in another class or institution, I'm there to assist.
How do you help create the balance for the student-athletes between their sport and academics?
I do not pressure nor do I coddle; however, my expectations are high. I establish respect for them as people and I adjust myself to fit their hectic schedules.
What would you say to the critics that say these young men don’t deserve a second chance?
Hush, period.
How did the Netflix’s Last Chance U pick Independence, Kansas and what was your initial thoughts?
I can't speak to the specific process. I initially thought, okay, that's cool for I hadn't seen the previous series.
Did you expect to play a big role on Last Chance U? You’re definitely a fan favorite!
No sir, I did not at all. As I blush, I say thank you. I didn't see any of this coming.
Are you excited that Netflix’s Last Chance U is coming back to ICC for 2nd season (technically season 4)?
Yes, I am. We never know how someone else's story of trials, tribulations, triumphs can help others.
When did you realize that Last Chance U - ICC was a hit and everyone was watching?
Social Media!! Wooo
Have you watched the previous seasons of Last Chance U at East Mississippi Community College? If so what did you think?
I watched them completely late June of this year. I thought it was extremely engaging and Netflix did a really good job sharing the stories of all involved.
Did you think Netflix’s Last Chance U was trying to portray you as the new Ms. Wagner?
No sir, not at all. We are two different women in two different professions helping students as best we can.
What role do you play in the students’ lives after they leave campus?
We move on but I am here if they need me. There are a few I check on from time to time.
What’s in your future? Would you want to work as a professor at a university? What is your dream job?
I really enjoy the community college level. My future.....great question, I will start praying again and see what happens
What should we look forward to in Last Chance U season 4? Any exclusives?
Ya know, I don't tell shows, movies or books. We all have to wait and see.
What is your book club going to read this year?
I have an idea but have not narrowed it down. I am pretty sure the author will be Walter Mosley.
Quick Hits Favorite sports team? I have to stay loyal- TN Vols, Titans, fingers are crossed. Favorite food? Soul food is who I am but Italian is very close runner-up. Favorite movie? Color Purple. I recently saw Vacation and that movie cracked me up!! Favorite book? This may seem odd, but " Oh The Places You Will Go" by Dr. Seuss. This book truly explains life. Yes, I have other faves but this is top choice.