So, I ended up going to Florida State University after I got my acceptance letter in the mail and I paid for it all with Scholarships, Grants, and Work-Study plus my part-time work with my own floral business on the weekends in Tampa Bay on 40th Street and Hillsborough in front of Salem’s Gyros and Subs and IGA Super Market. One of the best things I ended up doing while at FSU was traveling to Jamaica for a study abroad trip. Awesome! I learned all about the culture and how to “lime” lol. A definite highlight of my FSU tenure. I also had my first brush with the law and my first time being locked-up and charged with a felony. Thank God it was reduced to a misdemeanor and I skated away with little penalty. The major blow would come later.
I was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa to study abroad there for an entire semester. But because of my trouble with the law I couldn’t get approval to leave the country in time to cash in on this great once and a life time much desired, still desired opportunity unfortunately. Nevertheless, I graduated on time with my B.S. in Management Information Systems and a minor in Computer Science. So after completing about 150 job applications and 20 interviews I landed my first full-time salary position as an Assistant Manager at a major retailer in Dunwoody, GA. Yup, I made it from the Projects to Corporate America- officially. My Dad was very proud. However, that gig did not last long at all. So I invested some of my earnings into Atlanta Bartending Courses and became a certified Mixologist.
The plan was to bartend so I could pay my bills while I was on the hunt for my next follow-up salary position. Never happened that way. I ended up scrambling for work in hospitality, serving- a field I love actually, fits my outgoing personality perfectly, and even though people don’t recognize it as a M.I.S. occupation- it really is. My Mom, bless her heart, always told me “What I can’t teach you, life will.” And Life was about to sign me up for a nice rigorous course of incarceration in the Georgia Department of Corrections to follow a 901 Rice Street Jail of course- the prerequisite. Man, how did I do in that class? I passed. I made it out after almost 5 years behind the fence or “Up the Road” some call it. It was every bit of horrifying as any first-timer in the “pen” could imagine. By the grace of God through the power of The Holy Spirit I became born again and ever so grateful of all the details in life that we normally take for granted. That was the birthplace of this movement… For with God nothing shall be impossible. LUKE 1:37 KJV.
Read Part 3: From the Hood to Corporate America and Back... +