The Mission For My Life is to educate members of black and brown communities in the main structures to provide for a great lilfe:
1. academic excellence,
2. education through learning (college or a trade),
3. love of community,
4. aligning oneself with others who seek the same.
I will accomplish this through speaking directly to large groups of young kids in these targeted communities and setting up workshops to further expound upon these pillars. I will seek others who are like-minded and use our God-given talents to multiply our efforts.
I am a life-long learner. I am also someone who could have easily been a statistic. I grew up as the oldest of 3 to a single mom on welfare. We grew up in the poorest areas of our town but each of use kids, despite our surroundings, all became college-educated. Many of my friends did become a statistic: murdered or murderers, high school dropouts, teenage pregnancies, incarcerated, etc. The difference was in having a mother that wanted more for us. My mother is the matriarch of the family as well as my extended family upon the death of my grandmother.
I did most of the knucklehead things my friends did but I am one of the few who did their homework and received good grades. Despite my excellent grades, I was still somewhat lost. If not for excelling in basketball, I don't know if I would have seriously thought about college. The talk of college was always out there due to my superior grades but I just didn't know if it was really for me.
Once in college, I struggled academically and was actually suspended and eventually, kicked out of college due to having a GPA of 1.92 when I needed to have at minimum of 2.0. I once again felt lost, unsure of what to do next. So, I got a job and took classes at a community college. I was unable to get my Associates Degree or pursue a Bachelor's Degree because of the $4,000 debt I owed the university that kicked me out. Paying little by little would take me years. So, after some thought and discussion with my mother, I joined the US Army Reserves. Not only did they offer a signing bonus but they also offered a Student Loan Repayment Program and I also had access to a GI Bill, which would go on to pay for the rest of my studies and allowed me to earn my Bachelors Degree. Another benefit is that the GI Bill offered me the ability to buy a house with $0 money down and if not for that, I did not have the money for a down payment. I would come to learn that homeownership was lacking in black and brown communities and is one of the main reasons in the wealth gap that exists today.
To make a long story a bit shorter, after working several sales jobs in my 20s and 30s, with periods of unemployment, I took a chance and became a licensed Realtor. This career path would go on to change my life and help me realize opportunities that my other jobs did not afford me. I came to realize I was really good at it and became a top earner in my association my 1st full year. I now own multiple homes and multiple businesses and my wife and I have been able to give my kids some of the things I lacked myself growing up (although I didn't feel like I lacked anything at the time). I am now at a point where I have a strong desire to educate others in black and brown communities to the opportunities that exist that may not be known. I believe in one generation, we can erase the wealth gap.