I come from meager beginnings. Born and raised in Minnesota, I am one of four children in a bi-racial family of six; my dad is African American (originally from Laurel, Mississippi) and my mother is Caucasian (originally from Brooklyn Center, Minnesota).
At a time in my life where uncertainty abounded, the honor of being selected for the Wallin scholarship program gave me confidence that I was a viable candidate for college. Janet Benson, my Wallin advisor, provided a solid foundation for me to succeed as I made the transition from high school to college at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire (UWEC). She helped me to maintain the balance between work and school, and was always there to talk me through issues that came up.
After two years at UWEC, I ventured to Alabama A&M University through a program called the National Student Exchange. I enjoyed my experience at A&M so much that I decided to transfer in January 2006.
Upon graduating from Alabama A&M University, I migrated to the Washington, D.C. metro area. I married my wife and my biggest inspiration, Carolyn, in 2016. We are expecting our first child in April 2017. Currently, I service the Department of Transportation as a federal contractor. I work as a systems analyst supporting the development of IT projects.
I have more today than I ever thought I would have, and the Wallin program has truly been a source of my success. Wallin continues to be a source of support for the community providing resources for people that come from where I come from, look like I look, and dream for what is my reality. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from this experience is to always pay it forward. My success means nothing if I do not strive to help others realize a path to success, hopefully greater than my own. I am inspired to give back to organizations that have served me along my journey and have a personal goal to contribute double what Wallin donated to me.
Eventually I would like to start my own consulting firm focused on project management. Long term, I would like to work as a venture capitalist, in hopes to invest in future entrepreneurs in need of funding.
This whole experience is very sobering and satisfying, knowing that I have only scratched the surface of what I will accomplish in my lifetime. Thank you, Wallin, and all others that have allowed me to turn potential into tangible results.