Inaugural Kennard Scholar
What type of career have you pursued and want to achieve in the future?
After graduating from Southern Miss, I found a passion for education and began my
graduate studies in special education while working as a high school English teacher
in my hometown. I am currently employed as a special education teacher in Dallas,
Texas, while pursuing my doctorate in education leadership with the goal of becoming
a special education director. In this capacity, I hope to reduce the number of African
American and other minority students who are commonly over-diagnosed with intellectual
and behavior disorders.
How did receiving the Clyde Kennard scholarship impact you?
My junior year of college, I began to face some financial hardships that most students
experience at some point during their college career. As a young father at the time,
the Clyde Kennard scholarship afforded me the opportunity to continue my education
with not only financial support, but also cultural exposure, and guidance through
my program mentor, Dr. Marcus Coleman. As a first-generation college student this
support made my final years at Southern Miss my most triumphant. I am also grateful
for Dr. Anderson-Goins who was the program director at the time. Their support, amongst
others, helped me to leave Southern Miss better than I found it.
It is my hope that I can continue to educate, advocate and inspire the next generation on the endless opportunities they can achieve in life just as Clyde Kennard and others did for me.
How do/did your academic pursuits or journey honor Kennard’s legacy?
As an African American male, Clyde Kennard’s perseverance and dedicated pursuit to his own betterment has been a constant reminder for me as I continue to reach my higher purpose in life. Since the beginning, this journey has not been easy, but as Dr. Eddie Holloway would say, “We stand on the shoulders of giants.” I am thankful for the life of Clyde Kennard and the struggles he faced so that I wouldn’t have to. His legacy reminds me that with hard work and consistency, I can swiftly accomplish things in life that those before me may have struggled to. It is my hope that I can continue to educate, advocate and inspire the next generation on the endless opportunities they can achieve in life just as Clyde Kennard and others did for me.