My future begins where? | Blog
I was born and raised on the eastside of Cleveland. As a full-time student at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), I am a Mandel Scholar, member and mentee of the Black American Council, elected senator at large for the Eastern Campus, president of Campus Activity Board, Goldman Sachs 10k small businesses intern, a 2023 Accelerate Presenter, Carl and Louis Stokes Advanced Leadership Institute Fellow, CHC dual enrollment student, and a Democracy Fellow.
Before attending Tri-C, I was a union carpenter and as rewarding as this career was deep down, I felt unfulfilled to a certain degree. After the untimely death of my mother at only 58 years old, the sense of urgency I felt to rectify this feeling within myself increased expeditiously as I contemplated my own mortality. I also found myself suddenly becoming a single father after my eight-year-old son, Jeremiah, moved in with me. I knew that, for his sake and mine, it was indeed time to act. As a nonconventional student I have a mortgage, utilities to pay, a son to raise, as well as other responsibilities that must be addressed in addition to my studies.
The staff I’ve encountered from my dear counselor and Black American Council mentor Dr. Hawkins to the wonderful staff in financial aid, enrollment, student engagement, and so many more have lifted me up. The dedication they have for their profession helps me address every challenge and need that I have. Their desire to empower me has given me permission to be the fullest version of myself, which has led to my maturation as a student and a future professional in the field of my course of study.
My enrollment as a student at Tri-C has come with so many opportunities and opened so many doors for me that I am still in awe of. These opportunities are not exclusive to myself and when people ask me how I get involved to the degree that I do I always say “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”.
Most people don’t speak up enough. Fear is usually the justification to not follow one’s purpose, the reason not to make that person’s acquaintance, or reach out to that professor. I believe that one should control their fear rather than let it control you. Use it to hone your senses, loosen your tongue, and show people how bright your light truly shines. The more comfortable you are with yourself; the more comfortable people will be with you as well. People recognize authenticity and flock to it. So, consider this your invitation to be your authentic self.