It’s In Your Blood

What defines you? A loaded question with no real answer on the tip of your tongue. Honestly, I hate when people ask me this question because there aren’t enough words to accurately describe the definition of someone. The first thing that comes to mind for me is experience. We spend our entire lives learning, changing, evolving and experiencing new things on a daily basis so is the real answer an accumulation of those experiences? What if you weren’t present in the moment, do they still matter?

 

Well one thing for certain is that you can spend each day adding to your narrative and taking chances in the moment. After all, life’s a gamble and nobody is going to double down on you. My story is one of triumph, consistency, and risk. A few things I think we all endure at some point.

“A Rising Tide, Lifts All Boats.”

A quote that has stuck with me into adulthood as a reminder to create and ride waves. If I could tell my younger self one thing, it would be to surround yourself with people that you can learn from, people that can help you grow. Reflecting on the journey, every L I took provided the lesson that made me the man I am today. For that, I am fortunate for the experiences that have molded me.

So where do I start with such a layered story. What do I leave out of my digital trail? I could recap the hood and throw some RIP’s. Talk about the finesse and how they program our community and families. See I was born into the “lower-middle class” they say, but to me, I was as rich as I knew. No privileges’ but I had the same tools as most and knew how to navigate. Proud enough of my story to jot it down.

2004-2008 HIGH SCHOOL

I'll save you from the troubled youth story.

No seriously, we all have a laundry list of things we have done that we aren't proud of. Turns out that those same things are what made you the person you are today. On the bright side, all I did was play basketball as a youth until high school. As I became older I realized that free time was my worst enemy.


Highlights:
  • Basketball Team
  • Football Team
  • Popular Contest Winner
  • Expelled Twice
  • 5th Yr. Sr.

Your Journey Begins With A Single Step

I made it out the unthinkable because where I was headed was far more important. It took me forever to understand that direction was more important than speed. You could go 100 miles a minute the wrong direction; it gets you nowhere.

Turning the page, I turned to the gym to keep my mind as busy as possible. I would travel out of the city to explore new things, looking for something more.

Eventually, I started to feel stuck as growth opportunities dwindled. I found myself reverting into old habits and friend circles so I enrolled into college thanks to the Peoria Promise program. My first collegiate experience was at Illinois Central College as a forensic science major. My social rotation was very tight and I was able to build the productive  foundation that would guide me through later years.

Though forensics was great and I excelled, I began to feel like I was destined for something more. I started to think outside of the box of what I was always told. “You test well in science” slowly transitioned from a discussion of guidance to a result of comfort zoning. ICC gave me the tools and structure to realign who I wanted to become with what I enjoy and after two years, I accomplished everything that was needed to move on to the next level; a 4 year institution. The only issue was how? Then I learned about financial aid.

IL. CENTRAL COLLEGE - EASTERN IL

Double Time. Something to Prove

Changing the narrative is what I came to do. No more time for the distractions or hurdles. Tripping over my own feet is a thing of the past for me now and the decision to go to college changed my life.

College Involvements

Knowing how important it was to fill my time up; It was important for me to be involved while in college. This time, I was going to fill my time up with more meaningful and rewarding experiences and I did just that. It was more glorious in person but hey. I came to win.

Black Student Union

- President (2014)
- Vice President (2013)
- Service Affairs (2012)
- Guiding Light Mentorship Program Founder (2013)

Alpha Phi Alpha (ZN)

- President (2014)
- Treasurer (2013)
- Stepshow Champ x6
- Miss Black & Gold Pageant Host

Leadership Roles

- LASO Service Affairs (2013)
- NPHC Parliamentarian (2013)
- Alpha Epsilon Delta Officer (2012)
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Other Leadership Roles

- Black Male Caucus (S.T.R.O.N.G.)
- Meet The Greek Yard Show
- Stroll Like an Alpha Coach
- Polar Plunge

Awards & Recognition

- RSO Campus Leader 2014
- RSO of the Year 2013 + 2014
- 1st Place Homecoming 2014
- IL. Chapter of the Year 2013
- March of Dimes Fundraiser Award 2013

Committee Involvements

- Black Student Reunion Committee
- NPHC Greek Step Show Committee
- University Board Main Stage

Scholarships

- PCCEO Scholarship
- Peoria Promise Scholarship

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