A Q&A with BHGH Alum and current Residential Counselor
Q: Tell us a little bit about your journey (what schools have you gone to, degrees you’ve received, big successes along the way, etc).
A: When I first started in the program in 6th grade I went to St. Mary School in Akron. For high school I went to Akron Early College High School where I earned my high school diploma and my Associate of Arts. I then went on to Ohio University where I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology Criminology in three years, to ensure I was a competitive candidate for my future aspirations. After I graduated from Ohio University, I went to Cleveland State University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, while completing my AmeriCorps year with Boys Hope Girls Hope. After my AmeriCorps year I worked as a case manager for people with mental illnesses at Signature Health. I am currently a Residential Counselor in the girl’s home at BHGH. I will start law school in the fall at the University of Akron School of Law.
Q: How long have you been involved with BHGH?
A: I have been involved since 2007 when I was in 6th grade
Q: How has BHGH impacted your journey – if at all – and how do you think it impacts the journey of others.
A: BHGH exposed me to things that I would not normally have access to as a kid, such as film making and editing, violin lessons, ACT prep courses and scholarship dollars for college. There were times when I wanted to give up in college and received a call or a care package from BHGH that lifted my spirits and gave me the motivation to keep going. I believe that others benefit the same way from BHGH if not more so because of the commitment that staff has.
Q: Do you remember some of your first memories as a Scholar? What are they?
A: One of my first and favorite memories of being a Scholar is writing, editing, directing and starring in multimedia presentations, we even did a full remake of the Wiz. We learned how to use green screens and photoshop.
I also remember just walking around John Carroll’s campus. We only walked from the O’Malley center to the rec center which is a pretty short walk, but it was so much fun. It was like being a college student in 6th grade.
Q: What is your favorite memory (or memories) of BHGH?
A: My favorite memory was the last week of the summer program. The week was always filled with super fun activities like staff vs. student kickball game, extra rec time and of course the closing ceremony. At the closing ceremony we got to show off the videos we made and perform dancing and singing numbers we had been practicing all summer long. It was also out time to reflect on what we learned and say goodbyes to the great friends we had made.
Q: What has drawn you stayed involved with BHGH after your college graduation?
A: The feeling of family that the program offers. I always feel like I’m coming home and there aren’t many places I’ve been that make me feel like that
Q: How has BHGH helped shape you into who you are today?
A: They have held me accountable for my missteps and my accomplishments, helping to teach me that I have to take responsibility for mistakes I’ve made but also for the great things that I’ve done and it’s okay to celebrate accomplishments.