Pursuing Higher Education and Overcoming Life Obstacles
Eugene M. is a 2014 recipient of the Tom Jeffers Fund for Continuing Education Scholarship. Eugene is a Chicago Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) graduate and a freshman at Northern Illinois University majoring in business administration. He is also getting his Illinois insurance producers license. Eugene shares what motivates him to attend and succeed in college and inspire others.
Tell us how you overcame obstacles in your life.
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” — Nelson Mandela. This quote is not only my favorite but will be one of many that will define me in years to come.
Growing up on the Southside of Chicago in the Roseland community, I had to overcome many challenges. Those challenges helped create the person I am today. Intelligent, confident, and ambitious are all words I use to describe myself. Those characteristics help me maintain a 3.6 GPA at Northern Illinois University while majoring in business administration. Every morning as I get dressed for class, I remind myself that a person who never fails will never be successful.
Everyone meets a roadblock in life, but roadblocks are only installed to make you think and work harder than your usual, pushing you to excel well above your means. “What you put out in the atmosphere is what you receive” is the motto I live by. Helping and motivating others to be better than me really gets me excited. I plan to be a motivational speaker for financial planning, advising other youth as well as people who are twice my age.
What are your goals for the future?
My short-term goal is to graduate from Northern Illinois University with a 3.8 GPA while establishing a mentoring organization that I can leave behind that will target incoming freshmen. I believe that the first semester sets the tone for college students throughout the rest of their college career. Reaching out to students early really gives them an advantage that most incoming freshmen like me didn’t have.
My long-term goal is to be an entrepreneur owning over 30 corporations by the age of 65. With the guidance of mentors and my faith in God, I believe that I will not only be able to meet those goals, but also help others while en route. Nothing in life happens overnight, but with every night that passes, I know I’m getting one step closer to achieving my goals.