I went to high school in Dillon, SC and lived with my father, who suffered from polio. Though we struggled financially, he taught me how to persevere through adversity, and to never let anything stand in my way of success. I joined the U.S. Marines after high school and served nearly 8 ½ years, earning 15 awards and medals for outstanding leadership and mission accomplishment. After being honorably discharged in 2013, I enrolled at HCC where many doors of opportunity opened for me. I got a job in the VA work-study program, was voted President of the Veterans Club, and earned the 2015 Student Award for Academic Excellence in Business. While attending HCC, I cared for my father, who now had stage-four lung cancer, but who still inspired me to push forward and to use my gifts to help others. Mentorship and encouragement by HCC Professors Gold and Kerly helped me find the right path and instilled great confidence in my abilities. I graduated from HCC with high honors with an AA in Business Administration and with four college credit certificates. I then attended the University of Tampa and graduated magna cum laude from the Sykes College of Business with a B.S. in Management. Today, I’m proudly back at HCC, working as a Veterans Academic Advisor.