Taraji P. Henson: ‘Empire’ Star Shares 11th Grade Photo For #TBT

Actress Taraji P. Henson apparently went back in time a couple of decades for Throwback Thursday.

The Empire star posted a photo of herself on her official Instagram page from the 11th grade that was actually found by a fan.

“HA! Look at what a fan found! I think I was in the 11th grade. Reppin #OxonHillHighSchool #Clippers anybody who knew me KNEW I was oh so SERIOUS with the hair cutz and styles!!! #BeDifferent #doYou #StandOutInTheCrowd or #not your CHOICE”

Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson in High School

As is the case with most throwback pictures, this photo likely brings back a lot of memories to the mind of the 44-year-old actress.

For instance, attending Oxon Hill High School was not Taraji’s first choice. According to Biography, Henson initially applied to a performing arts high school. However, the Oscar-nominated actress did not get accepted.

She graduated from Oxon Hill High in 1988 – which means that her throwback photo is at least 27-28-years-old.

Taraji attended North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University (also known as North Carolina A&T) for her first year of college. However, she reportedly transferred to Howard University after she failed pre-calculus.

It was at Howard University that she studied theater while working two jobs. She polished her skills as an actress, dancer, and singer – earning a “Triple Threat Scholarship” as a result.

Even after she got pregnant with her son, Marcell, she did not allow her journey into motherhood to slow her down from pursuing her academic achievements and professional goals in show business.

With just $700 in her bank account, she and her son moved to Los Angeles in 1996 so that she could pursue her dream of becoming an actress.

After several TV roles throughout the late 90s, Taraji P. Henson received her first big break on the big-screen with the 2001 John Singleton-directed film Baby Boy.

Three years later, she starred alongside Terrence Howard in the 2004 Oscar-winning film, Hustle and Flow.

Fast forward 10 years later, Taraji P. Henson breathed new life into her acting career with her critically-acclaimed, award-winning performance as Cookie Lyon on the hit FOX series, Empire.

[Image Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]