Rickey Murray, Student Extraordinaire

Rickey Murray graduates from HCC this spring and transfers to USF as a pre-med undergrad. Wise well beyond his years, Rickey realized at a young age that his personal struggles are his strengths…This drives him to be the best possible person he can be, compelling those in his circle to do the same.  Without a doubt, he will leave an indelible impression on the students and faculty at HCC who have had the pleasure of knowing him.

The youngest of six children, Rickey lived in Orlando with his mother until he was 10 years old. Although his mother was very loving, his home environment was unstable and she could no longer care for him. Rickey eventually moved to Virginia to live with his sister Tanesha. Tanesha’s army career was advancing and she knew she could provide a stable home environment for her younger brother. After he graduated high school, his sister was reassigned to MacDill Air Force Base and they moved to Gibsonton, Florida. Rickey attributes his successes in and out of the classroom to his sister, and states that she is his greatest influence. Tanesha recognized that Rickey had the capacity to break the cycle of poverty that plagued their family. She advised him not to be afraid of people, respect where you came from and be the best you can be. He lives his life by her sage advice.

Rickey’s thirst for knowledge is as strong as his need to share that knowledge with others. His math professor hand-selected Rickey to serve as a Chemistry Supplemental Instructor for a peer-led study group. Audrey Rose Blanco, Lead Mentor for the program, says this position could have been made for Rickey and remarked, “he is not only seeking resources, he wants to be the resource.”

Drawn to the medical field, Rickey planned to go into nursing. However, after attending a seminar at an AMSA conference held at USF, he now aspires to become a doctor. As a doctor, he says he can draw from his personal experiences to be more empathetic to his patients.  This summer, Rickey was accepted into the Moffitt SPARK (Summer Program for the Advancement of Research Knowledge), an internship program for undergraduates at Moffitt Cancer Center. He credits his professors for pushing him outside his comfort zone and making him aware of opportunities like SPARK, that he may have otherwise missed.

Rickey Murray is a recipient of the HCC Foundation Gwendolyn Stephenson Scholarship, established in honor of HCC’s 6th President. To give the gift of higher education to outstanding students like Rickey is a reward we will all reap the benefits from for many years to come. To find out how you too can make a difference, please contact Ann Menchen at (813) 253-7018 or amenchen3@hccfl.edu.