Stories have always been a significant part of my life: My dad telling me convicting stories before athletic competitions to motivate me, diving into stories through books or movies, and even writing poetry and songs. For most of my life, I was a recipient of others’ stories and I kept the ones I created mostly to myself. At the start of pursuing my entrepreneurial endeavors, I was first given the duty to share mine. Although nerve-wracking, experiences such as speaking at Career Day for a local school and pitching my first company’s mission live online with Les Brown shifted my perspective on my role as a businessman and person in general. These experiences inspired me to continue developing business ideas for a positive impact on others. After seeing the growth and impact that sprouts when I am given the space to share my story and passions, my sophomore year I created a space for others to do this as well on a podcast “CRE82INSPIRE”. The same year I also launched a lifestyle clothing business that is cultivating community and has sparked growth in my character and career. In addition to the typical management and leadership skills that comes with owning a business, I learned foundational skills of how to use brand storytelling to unite people with a common mission through an entrepreneur development internship. As a career goal, I plan to grow the businesses and communities I started in high school, collaborate with others to create new projects, and ultimately I want to help organizations that are focused on positively impacting society elevate their brand strategies and storytelling.
I believe a key to living out the core purpose of UT “Transform Lives for the Benefit of Society” is being attentive to the stories in our lives and of those around us so that problems can be solved and change can be made. This is one of the many reasons why I am ecstatic to be a part of the Business Honors program where real cases can be studied to collaborate with others for creating real solutions in and outside the classroom. With the guidance of prestigious professors, the support of the trailblazing community, and my passion for positive impact in the world, I along with my fellow cohorts will be prepared to live out our own story of fulfilling the UT mission.
Canfield Business Honors
Clothing Company: CAPEL; Entertainment Media Channel/Podcast: CRE82INSPIRE; Intern at Black CEO Network; Running and Basketball (for fun)
What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program?
The very first time I heard about the Forty Acres Scholars Program was actually through a FASP alumni from my hometown! I reached out to her just to connect and learn about her UT experience; then inevitably her participation in FASP came up in our conversation. Finding out it was a full-ride scholarship piqued my interest—but little did I know it was so much more. One of the first qualities of the program that attracted me is the small tight-knit community and connection that comes from being a part of FASP. Coming from a school with 27 (yes, 27) students in my graduating class, one of my hopes was to find ways to make UT’s big campus experience just a little smaller. Also, I am a strong believer in the saying “iron sharpens iron.” By being a part of FASP, I have the opportunity to be in an environment, which can inspire growth, impact, and strong relationships. Ultimately, the finalists' weekend truly sealed the deal for me. From getting a taste of what it’s like to be part of the FASP family through the connections and conversations with older scholars/other finalists and hearing the stories of career/passion-based travel opportunities, I already felt like I was home. Now I am humbled and ecstatic to officially be part of such an amazing program.