One thing that I want to do is share my experience and journey with the world. As someone who is almost 24 years old, I cannot believe what the remainder of this year holds for me and how much I have grown in life.
First, let me say that life throws you many challenges, and your character and integrity are continually tested by how you respond to situations. When I first entered the College of Charleston as a junior in January 2015, I already had 2.5 years of work experience and practically an Associate’s degree from Trident Technical College. As an Eagle Scout, I was determined to prove my worth to my fellow classmates, but also to the College as a whole. I quickly became involved in Student Government Association and served a brief 3-4 months, however, I never gave up on my desire in wanting to serve the College. I joined multiple programs through the Higdon Student Leadership Center, to provide me with more leadership training and development while I was taking courses in my field of politics. In August 2016, I joined the staff of the North Campus and the Lowcountry Graduate Center as a student worker. The following Spring, I would walk at commencement, however, I never received my Bachelor’s degree. It was not because of a clerical error or because of the College, instead, it was because I never finished my requirements to earn my degree. As of today, April 18th, 2018, I still do not have my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, yet I have realized at my age that the degree does not determine all of my worth. I WILL be getting that degree this summer and will ensure that all those years of stress, tears, and hard work are used for something great.
It is now April of 2018, and another year has passed, and another undergraduate class is about ready to walk at Commencement. There is no doubt that I have made mistakes in my life, but I know that I learn better from mistakes and failures of myself and of others. Now that I am about to be 24 years of age in only 11 days, I finally understand my true passion, purpose, and intention in life and my career. Every step, hurdle, and roadblock in life has led me to where I am now and I am ready to leap forward with a burning desire to help others. My passion in life is not to be given handouts, rewards, or that much acknowledgment, but instead to help every single person in this nation and around the world through practical, pragmatic, and ethical policy. My purpose is to be the best that I can be for myself, my family, and for others. It is for me to write and administer policies that provide services to those in need of them, to solve the issues that humanity faces, and to ensure that the future is continually bright for the following generations to come. My intentions are to be of service to others and to obtain as much knowledge on the issues so I can ensure that there are ethical policies being made. To do this, I will be pursuing at some point in the near future, a Master’s in Public Administration and/or Policy, as well as, the possibility of a certificate in Conflict Resolution. I have taken courses throughout college in the fields of politics, philosophy, law, economics, policy, and education. I now work in higher education and have the perfect resources and opportunities to learn as much as I can about the operations of an agency/organization. Perhaps, one day, I can prove my worth to my fellow Americans that there is someone in this world who continually wants to solve the issues with real solutions, and in order for me to do that, I am not ruling out a possible political office run.
At the age of 24, I have accomplished goals that I never thought I would be able to do currently. The road/path of life is not straight and sometimes not smooth. There are challenges that we face every day and challenges that shake us to our very core. Integrity, determination, patience, resolve, and empathy are the five qualities that I have learned, at my young age, which helps me get through tough situations. I never thought that at 24 years of age I would be an Eagle Scout and leader, ready to be married, on track to becoming financially stable, about to earn my next degree in Political Science concentrating on politics, philosophy, and law, and be more determined than ever to be of service to others. When I was in Student Government back in 2015, I was presented with an award that said “Person most likely to take over the world,” I never forgot that and I can honestly say that I have that fire back, after years of just getting by. I have gone through a lot in life, just like others, but I want to connect with people not as a representative or someone I debate with, but instead as a human and a someone who listens to their story. My advice is this: Never forget where you come from, the friends you make, the colleagues you meet, and the people who inspire you. I am blessed with having such amazing friends and colleagues that have gone on to do amazing work in terms of service by volunteering, joining the Peace Corps, or starting their very own non-profit or following their dreams. The people I have met throughout my life and journey have made a lasting impression on me and I want to make sure that the lessons I learn from my journey are passed down to the next and following generations.