Long days awaited me after school during my high school senior year. I was involved in many different extracurricular activities that took most of my time. However, I was always prepared for my college paper work. I remember the one and only time I was late for something, was the time that was going to change my life forever...
It was around 6 pm when I arrived at the Go Center, my advisor gave me an admission application for Paul Quinn College along with a scholarship to fill out that was actually due that same day!
I was rushing through the papers, excited about writing an essay about my community involvement. Two weeks later, I received the good news; I was called for a meeting with President Sorrell. When I showed up I was eager yet nervous to find out how the school was going to look and who I would meet. It was an incredible experience because everyone treated me like family, and I mean real family. They were nice to me all the way from the front gate to the President’s office.
When I met President Sorrell and he introduced me to the college, I knew I belonged there. I have always considered myself a creator and not a victim because I have always done whatever was necessary to obtain what I want. I do not like to cry and complain about things that I know I can fix on my own. Therefore, I knew that I was going to fit just right at Paul Quinn.
I was told about the situation of the college from the beginning, and I was advised to either “get on the train or let it pass.” The opportunity of having my four year college career all paid for was tempting, but I also knew that it was not going to be easy, especially because there were many requirements that I would have to meet. When I accepted the Presidential Scholarship, I accepted the many rewards and obligations that came with it. I committed to a high academic standard and to be part of the change that was about to begin. My freshman year I was assigned a roommate who was ironically one of my high school class mates. Our names coincided as well as our goals in life. We shared the same view about our new school and we were definitely “riding on the same train.” With our peers’ help and our enthusiasm about making the change happen, we began to check things out. President Sorrell’s open door policy facilitated the process because we always had the freedom to walk into his office with the suggested solution to any problem we would encounter.
Along with the responsibilities I acquired by forming part of the Presidential Scholars program, I was also introduced to endless opportunities that will last a life time. For example, networking with very important people was one of the most significant rewards I obtained. I personally met Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Pinnacle One C.E.O. Nina Vaca, (who became my mentor), and CPC Attorney Liz Cedillo-Pereira. One of the most recent opportunities given to me was the chance to participate in the “Student Exchange Program” with SMU. I also met many important people like President Gerald Turner and his staff as well as Professor Jack Chung Miao and Doctor Robert Rasberry who both made a great impact in my life. Working with our community has always been one of the top priorities of our school and one of the most enjoyable because we know that we can make the difference. I participated in the 2008 presidential campaigns and elections, forming part of the historical Presidential Inauguration, rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and many other events. As I look back in time, I thank God for allowing me to be in the right place at the right time. I thank President Sorrell for letting me be part of the constant change that is taking place at Paul Quinn College and for choosing me to be a Presidential Scholar. As I mentioned before, I have always been a diligent person; I have worked hard to achieve my goals and to be where I am right now. I am proud of what I have done so far, but I am sure this is only the beginning of a continuous life full of “ups and downs” where the only one who writes the story is me.